A nonpartisan coalition of 23 members of the U.S. House of Representative has nominated for the Nobel-Peace Prize Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romeroy Galdames of San Salvador.

"In a nation notorious for its disregard of basic human rights, Archbishop Romero stands out as an eloquent and unshakeable opponent of oppression and violence," the congressmen wrote in their letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in Oslo.

"In calling for social and economic reform and (an end) to government sanctioned violence that has taken the form of widespread disappearances, arbitrary arrests, murder and torture, Archbishop Romero has become the most prominent spokesman in El Salvador for peace and justice," the congressmen said. "An individual of unsurpassed courage and integrity, Archbishop Romero has not allowed government persecutors to frighten him into silence or submission.

"He has remained a forthright and compelling advocate of human rights, nonviolence, and social progress -- setting a standard in defense of human liberty which can be applied not only in Latin America, but throughout the world."

In releasing the text of the letter, Rep. Robert Drinan (D-Mass.), a Jesuit priest, said that it has been made "clearer than ever before that Archbishop Romero is an extraordinarily important leader for the oppressed people in his nation."