Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Saturday, February 6, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

SJB Ravioli Dinner 2016

Home : News : Nation and World
8/8/2014 9:38:00 AM
Books chronicle 1989 Jesuit murders in El Salvador
Catholic News Service photo
These are the covers of
Catholic News Service photo
These are the covers of "La Verdad: A Witness to the Salvadoran Martyrs" by Lucia Cerna and Mary Jo Ignoffo and "Blood and Ink: Ignacio Ellacuria, Jon Sobrino and the Jesuit Martyrs of the University of Central America" by Robert Lassalle-Klein. The book s are reviewed by Agostino Bono.
Catholic News Service

"La Verdad" and "Blood and Ink" mark the 25th anniversary of the brutal military assassination of six Jesuits in El Salvador, revisiting the case from different but converging perspectives.

"La Verdad: A Witness to the Salvadoran Martyrs" by Lucia Cerna and Mary Jo Ignoffo. Orbis Books (Maryknoll, N.Y., 2014). 186 pp., $20.

"Blood and Ink: Ignacio Ellacuria, Jon Sobrino and the Jesuit Martyrs of the University of Central America" by Robert Lassalle-Klein. Orbis Books (Maryknoll, N.Y., 2014). 376 pp., $34.

Both share the same overall conclusions and make convincing cases for calling the six priests martyrs as the social commitment that made the Salvadoran military consider them subversives and terrorists sprang from their deep faith. Murdered with the priests were Julia Elba Ramos, their cook and housekeeper, and her 16-year-old daughter.

Neither book provides new facts. Decades ago, even Salvadoran and U.S. government officials admitted that the executions were done by an elite U.S.-trained battalion. But the books offer a profound Catholic context for what happened and provide perspective for judging a very difficult period in Latin American church history.

Although the assassinations occurred as the Cold War was evaporating elsewhere with the breakup of the Soviet Union's empire in Eastern Europe, it was still alive and well in Latin America. During the Cold War many Latin American countries were ruled by U.S.-supported right-wing governments meant to prevent Marxism's spread in the United States' backyard.

These governments developed what became known as the national security state, a governing system in which human rights, civil liberties and the formation of stable democratic institutions took a back seat to an anti-communist mindset that considered subversive almost anyone criticizing their government or questioning the huge social, economic and political inequities in society.

A main result in this heavily Catholic region was the political assassination of many priests, religious and laypeople whose social and pastoral work was guided by the Gospel values rather than Marxist ideology or a Communist Party's political program. The vast majority of these assassinations were done by government security forces.

Within this context, six Jesuit priests were dragged from their residence at the University of Central America in El Salvador in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 1989, and brutally murdered. Ramos and her daughter, Celina Mariset, who had stayed overnight at the residence, were both eliminated by the killers so as to leave no witnesses.

The Jesuits were university professors and administrators who felt the university had to do more than educate the children of the elite. As the books point out, they were inspired by a 1968 call from the Latin American bishops for the church to become the "voice of the voiceless."

They wanted the university to grapple with the reality of a country where the majority of the population was poor and marginalized. So the school started job training programs, did sociological surveys that  tapped the views of the entire population, organized public forums to  discuss national issues and even made efforts to mediate peace between the government and leftist guerrillas fighting a civil war.

Of the two books, "La Verdad (Spanish for "the truth") is the easier read. It tells the moving story of Lucia Cerna, who also was a housekeeper for the Jesuits and who saw the 1989 events from a building next to the residence. She, her husband and 4-year-old daughter stayed the night because it was dangerous to return to their home in a neighborhood where the military and guerrillas were fighting. Although she didn't see the actual killings, she heard the screams of the Jesuits and the shots and saw soldiers jubilantly surrounding the dead bodies.

After giving sworn testimony in El Salvador, she was whisked to the United States for her safety only to be pressured for several days by FBI agents to change her testimony incriminating Salvadoran soldiers. Supplementing Cerna's story is Mary Jo Ignoffo, history professor at De Anza College in Cupertino, California. She provides the historical, political, socioeconomic and theological background to the narrative.

"Blood and Ink" mixes retelling the event with a scholarly treatise about the theological underpinnings of the UCA Jesuits. Robert Lassalle-Klein, associate professor of religious studies and philosophy at Holy Names University in Oakland, concentrates on the writings of  Father Ignacio Ellacuria, university president, who was killed, and Father Jon Sobrino, well-known theologian, who escaped death as he was out of the country on a speaking trip.

The author shows how the two developed their own nuances to liberation theology and saw in the poor and oppressed Salvadorans the face of Christ and regarded them as a crucified people needing to be taken down from the cross.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved