The Catholic Church , when subject to popular vote, reflects Christian values; when a compassionate Pope reigns, it does the same. Perhaps its power shall finally rest in the people rather than the gilded halls of the Vatican.
The Irish accept same-sex marriage, and a priest of the poor is canonized in El Salvador, where the people have long treated him as a saint.
Ireland appeared to be on the verge of becoming the first nation to approve same-sex marriage by a popular vote Saturday, sweeping aside the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church in a resounding victory for the gay rights movement and placing the country at the vanguard of social change. Not long ago, the vote would have been unthinkable. Ireland decriminalized homosexuality only in 1993, the church dominates the education system and abortion remains illegal except when a mother’s life is at risk. But the influence of the church has waned amid scandals in recent years, while attitudes, particularly among the young, have shifted.
Thirty-five years after Óscar Romero, the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated with a single bullet as he said Mass in a modest chapel here, this small country is celebrating his beatification on Saturday, the final step before sainthood.
For many here and in the rest of Latin America, though, Archbishop Romero is already a saint.
His tireless advocacy for the poor resonates deeply in a region where the gulf between those with riches and those without remains vast. He was the champion of impoverished Salvadorans, his homilies and radio broadcasts giving voice to their struggles. And as political violence battered the country and death squads killed any activist who challenged the existing order, the archbishop was defiant.
“I have frequently been threatened with death,” he said two weeks before he was killed. “If they kill me, I shall rise again in the Salvadoran people.”
FYI: When Same-Sex Marriages Became Legal
About 20 countries have already legalized same-sex marriages. Here is a list of when each did.