ROMERO (1989)

Key Passages

-- approximate times given are marked from the beginning of the film not the video tape --

0:08:45  Grande Voices Concerns
Grande -- You know, I think that pretty soon they won’t allow the Bible in our country any more.  All we’ll get is the bindings because everything inside, all the pages, will be declared revolutionary.
 

0:09:10  Morantes and Osuna Doubt Romero
Morantes --  We need someone who can change things, before it’s too late.

Grande --  Rivera y Damas is a good man.

Osuna --  The worst is Romero.

Morantes --  Not even the Vatican is that crazy.

Osuna --  He’d fiddle while El Salvador burns
 

0:10:30  Romero is Notified of His New Position
Bishop --  I think you may need to sit down.  You have been appointed Archbishop.

Romero --  I’m not qualified.

Bishop --  The Vatican has every confidence, and I will support you.

Romero --  Others won’t.

Bishop --  It is not an easy time.

Romero --  What should I do?

Bishop --  What God wants.

Romero --  What is that?
 

0:11:20  Bishops Reveal The Reasons for Romero's Appointment
Rivera y Damas --  He’s a good compromise choice, he’ll make no waves.

Flores --  He’s a bookworm.  The whole country could be running wild, he wouldn’t even notice it.

Rivera y Damas --  The military will keep a lid on things.

Flores --  They might need to, and you might get another medal.

Rivera y Damas --  (laughs) Perhaps.  Anyway, his health is delicate, always has been.  He won’t
    last.

Flores --  Yes, give him a happy death soon.
 

0:47:40  Arista Zelada Voices Doubts
A. Zelada --  I hear things, Monsignor.

Romero --  What things?

A. Zelada --  That you’re only sympathetic to the poor.

Romero --  Not only to the poor.

A. Zelada --  To radicals.

Romero --  I must minister to everyone.

A. Zelada --  To the men who have taken Rafael?
 

0:59:25  Bishop Flores Decides to Support Romero
Flores --  I would like to support the Archbishop, but I don’t agree with him.  I fact, I seldom do.  In fact, I think he’s become a Jesuit dupe.  Except priests are getting killed.  Except I could get killed.  Except its reprehensible.  So, I’m not going.
 

1:07:10  Romero Speaks to Salvadoran People
Romero --  We are here today to retake possession of this church building and to strengthen all those whom the enemies of the church have trampled down.  You should know that you have not suffered alone, for you are the church.  You are the people of God.  You are Jesus in the here and now.  He is crucified in you; just as surely as he was crucified two thousand years ago on that hill outside of Jerusalem.  And you should know that your pain and your suffering, like his, will contribute to El Salvador’s liberation and redemption.
 

1:10:50  Osuna Gains Faith in Romero
Osuna --  I am a believer in the theology of liberation, and I have worked in the people’s struggle.

Romero --  That is no sin.

Osuna --  No, but I had belief in one single man and in no one else.

Romero --  That is no sin.

Osuna --  Especially not the Archbishop.  I deplored him.  Mocked him.  Laughed at him.  How can I tell him I was wrong?
 

1:12:05  Romero Takes a Political Stand
Romero --  I am a shepherd who with his people has begun to learn a beautiful and difficult truth.  Our faith requires that we immerse ourselves in the world.  I believe economic injustice is the root cause of our problems.  From it stems all the violence.  The church has to be incarnated in those who fight for freedom and defend them and share in their persecution.
 

1:15:30  Romero Defines His Role
C. Dorio --  You are losing the support of the people who support your need to run the country.

Romero --  My task is not to run the country.  My task is to prevent my priests and our people from getting killed.
 

1:29:20  Romero and Morantes Debate the Use of Violence
Romero --  why are you carrying a gun?

Morantes --  How can I not carry one?  Am I going to abandon my people when I am one of those
    responsible for opening their eyes?

Romero -- A guerilla?  Is that what you are?  A communist?

Morantes --  No.  I am a priest who sees marxists and christians struggling to liberate the same
    people.  Jesus is part of that struggle; he would not stand by and watch his people being
    murdered.

Romero --  So you become like the military and the aristocracy.  You wage class warfare and
    become violent.

Morantes --  How can we continue to speak against violence when they keep killing the people that
    we love?  And even you admit that we have the right to defend ourselves.

Romero --  YOU’RE NOT DEFENDING, YOU’RE ATTACKING.  AND YOU LOSE GOD,
    JUST AS THEY HAVE.

Morantes --   What else can we do?  You think I want this, to live like this?

Romero --  With what you say there’ll be no end to the bloodshed.

Morantes --  I have no choice.
 

1:40:00  El Salvador's Struggle Continues
“Archbishop Romero was murdered on March 24, 1980.  He had spoken the disturbing truth.  Many chose not to listen.  As a result, between 1980 and 1989, 60,000 Salvadorans were killed.  But the struggle for peace and freedom, justice and dignity goes on.”
 
 

Copyright (c) 1999 by Nathan Henry Laver, Undergraduate at Lehigh University.

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