By Ross Epping
I recently had the opportunity to attend a conference titled “Peace Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Celebrating 50 Years Since Pacem in Terris” at the University of Notre Dame. This Catholic Social Teaching conference explored different peace and justice issues impacting modern-day Catholic social thought in light of Blessed John XXIII’s encyclical, Pacem in Terris. Throughout the conference, keynote speeches were given on various topics ranging from the legacy of Pacem in Terris to nonviolent activism in a global context. One particular keynote that seemed to capture the hearts of conference attendees was titled: “Oscar Romero: The Martyrdom of an Apostle for Peace and a Vatican II Champion.”
Julian Filochowski, friend and co-worker of Archbishop Romero, began his keynote speech stating, “I would argue that with Romero, God passed through the universal Church.” Filochowski explained that peace is but an empty word if it does not rest upon an order, founded in truth, built upon justice and nurtured and animated by charity. This was the way in which Romero lived and preached.
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