Three parliamentarians who nominated Archbishop Oscar Romero for the Nobel Peace Prize 36 years ago, have been presented with a diplomatic medal of honour by the Ambassador to the UK of El Salvador.
Lord Eric Avebury, Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley and former Labour MP Kevin McNamara received the medals from Ambassador Werner Matías Romero for the efforts they went to in nominating archbishop Romero for the Prize.
The men obtained 118 signatures, which they collected at the October 1978 Party Conferences, for a letter that was sent to the Nobel Committee in Oslo, nominating the Archbishop for the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.
Despite the fact that Archbishop Romero missed out on the prize, which was instead presented to Mother Teresa, the men’s efforts highlighted the good work the archbishop was carrying out in El Salvador at the time.
Archbishop Romero was engulfed in internal strife and violent conflict in El Salvador, a country on the brink of civil war. While the media covered it up and lied about it, he spread the truth from his pulpit and radio, denouncing repression, pleading for social reform and pushing all sides for a non-violent solution.
One year after this nomination, Archbishop Romero was shot dead by a marksman while on the altar celebrating Mass in the chapel of the cancer hospital, La Divina Providencia.
Julian Filochowski, the chairman of The Archbishop Romero Trust told The Universe that the event was both moving and poignant. “It was a great event, set in the magnificent setting of the Speaker’s Rooms at the House of Commons, and gave us the chance to celebrate Archbishop Romero once more in the wake of his beatification.
We also remembered a great and important act of British parliamentary solidarity as we honoured these three men who made that 1978 Nobel Peace Prize nomination”, he said.
The presentation took place in front of a gathering of bishops, priests and MPs, including Bishop Emeritus of Hallam, John Rawsthorne and Lord Alton. Forty of the 118 signatories to the letter nominating Archbishop Romero are alive today and were invited to the special occasion.
Picture: The three politicians with the Ambassador for El Salvador, Werner Matias Romero