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Priest hopes PH bishops emulate Romero, ‘martyr for social justice’

Priest hopes PH bishops emulate Romero, ‘martyr for social justice’

Fr. Amado Picardal (center) rides with other bikers who believe in the dignity of life. Also known as the “Biking Priest,” he has biked for life and social justice all over the country for years. PHOTO TAKEN FROM PICARDA’S FB ACCCOUNT

By Oliver Samson

Oct. 23, 2018

MANILA

A priest expressed hopes that the bishops of the Philippines can have recently canonized Archbishop Oscar Romero as their model in the fight for human rights and social justice in the country.

“I hope the bishops and priests in the Philippines will follow his example,” said Fr. Amado Picardal in a recent Facebook post.

Romero, assassinated for being vocal against social injustices in El Salvador prior his death in 1980, was “a martyr and a good shepherd,” said the priest in a post on a social network hours after the El Salvadoran prelate’s canonization in Rome.

‘Prophetic vocation’

According to Picardal, Romero, who was canonized on Oct. 14, lived a religious life worth emulating.

The human rights advocate also shared how he has always looked up to Romero as “an inspiration of how to live [his] prophetic vocation.”

Romero was a martyr and a good shepherd, and his life serves today, said Picardal, as “a template for the religious life.”

Champion of life

Picardal recently found himself a target of individuals he believes to be members of the Davao Death Squad, following the assassination of Fathers Richmond Nilo, Marcelito Paez, and Mark Ventura.

The “Biking Priest” noted how Romero strongly denounced human rights violations against the poor and the marginalized during his time. He championed the protection of life, human dignity and opposed all forms of violence.

Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass in a chapel at a hospital in El Salvador by suspected right wing paramilitary agents.

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