Francis is asking us to take sides

When asked "Which side are you on?" — as the song goes — most of us feel uneasy and generally try to sit on the intervening fence.

However, that is the question Pope Francis asked Catholics in his closing address to the bishops and cardinals — and by extension all Catholics — at the extraordinary synod on the Family Oct. 18. Noting the "moments of tensions and temptations" that occurred during the synod, Francis asks us to be honest with ourselves and declare which side we are inclining towards: the "traditionalist" or the "progressive” wing of the church.

Remembering the murder of Archbishop Romero

Throughout the military dictatorships in Latin America from 1950 to 1990, the hierarchies of the Catholic church and heads of Catholic religious orders took up varying positions in relation to the brutal suppression and the crucifixion of their peoples carried out by these dictatorships, whether in Argentina, Brazil or El Salvador.

However, the touchstone by which we should measure these hierarchical responses, or lack of them, should be the person of Msgr. Oscar Romero, archbishop of San Salvador for just three years from 1977 to 1980, when he was assassinated.