As Romero did
“Standing for justice means getting involved with conflict, entering into the fight and staying in it,” said Kelly Johnson, associate professor of religious studies, reflecting on the life of Blessed Oscar Romero.
Since 1975, this has also been the work of the Pastoral Land Commission of the Brazilian National Bishops’ Conference. On Tuesday, March 28, UD’s Human Rights Center presented the commission with the Blessed Oscar Romero Human Rights Award for its decades of work standing in “solidarity with the poor, the landless and those subjected to forced labor.”
Bishop Enemésio Lazzaris, commission president, accepted the award on behalf of the commission, kissing it and raising it above his head as the crowd rose to their feet to honor the work the Pastoral Land Commission has done for people in the countryside of Brazil.
“As long as we fight for justice and right, victims of violence and forced labor will stay alive,” Lazzaris said.
Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero dedicated his life to standing for justice. Pope Francis has said Romero’s voice says is still resonating 37 years after his assassination. The award, founded at UD in 2000, memorializes Romero’s martyrdom and the dedication to the “alleviation of the suffering of the human family.”
Lazzaris and the Human Rights Center join the legacy of Romero, who refused let the people around them be mistreated. They courageously live the Gospel and give voice to the voiceless.