By John Carey RIGHT-WING terrorists in El Salvador have threatened to kill Bishop Arturo Rivera y Damas, Archbishop Romero's successor in San Salvador, if he does not abandon his "procommunist" line.
The bishop was named apostolic administrator in the arcdiocese in April following the murder the previous month of Archbishop Romero.
Earlier this month his secretary received a phone call giving him the terse message: "Tell the arch bishop to remember what happened to his predecessor."
The caller, claiming to speak for the White Warrior Union, then hung up.
Details of the threat were made public several days later and tape recording of the voice played to journalists.
Bishop Rivera y Damas has continually pledged himself to follow the same outspoken line as Archbishop Romero. lie had a brief audience with the Pope during the latter's visit to Brazil and later, in a nationwide broadcast from the cathedral, spoke out against violence perpetrated by security forces and leftist guerillas, Among the incidents he condemned was one in which a leftist organisation had forced 100 peasants to leave a church-run refugee centre and occupy the Costa Rican embassy.
In the same homily Bishop Rivera y Damas said that he had told the Pope that the situation in El Salvador had shown a slight improvement but that the Pope had replied: "I don't think things are improving but at any rate I have the Salvadoreans constantly in my thoughts and pray that peace will return to them.' In the United States the United States Catholic Conference has urged the Secretary of State Edmund Muskie to support a proposed international arms embargo on El Salvador. The embargo was proposed by the bishops of England and Wales in a letter to the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, in May.
A copy of the bishops' letter was sent to Mr Muskie by Bishop Thomas Kelly, USCC general secretary, along with a cover letter restating USCC opposition to US aid.
Bishop Kelly said "In the three months since the tragic assassination and funeral of Archbishop Oscar Romero in San Salvador, events in that country have only strengthened the conviction of many that present United States policy toward El Salvador is badly flawed."
Many lives were being lost in ElSalvador because of an "undeclared civil war" and US support for "an increasingly unpopular and repressive" governmetn in El Salvador was widely perceived as contributing to the killing," he said.
Attempts are still being made to recover documents seized from the Socorro Juridico legal aid office of the archdiocese of San Salvador. The documents were taken in a raid on July 5.
A statement from the archdiocesan Office of Communications said: "We demand from the army and the junta guarantees for the safekeeping of the confiscated materials and documents since they constitute legal proof for the cases Socorro Juridico handles."