For the church, the many abuses of human life, liberty, and dignity are a heartfelt suffering. The church, entrusted with the Earth’s glory, believes that in each person is the Creator’s image and that everyone who tramples it offends God. As holy defender of God’s rights and of his images, the church must cry out. It takes as spittle in its face, as lashes on its back, as the cross in its passion, all that human beings suffer, even though they be unbelievers.
They suffer as God’s images. There is no dichotomy between man and God’s image. Whoever tortures a human being, whoever abuses a human being, whoever outrages a human being, abuses God’s image, and the church takes as its own, that cross, that martyrdom.
–Archbishop Oscar Romero, Homily on the Feast of St Silvestre, Dec. 31, 1977 (espousing the Catholic doctrine as to torture)