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Saints and martyrs

26 April 2013

John Donaghy, who works for the Catholic diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, writes about the largely forgotten (north of the Rio Bravo del Norte) Guatemalan Bishop Juan Geradi, Conedera, murdered for investigating the genocide in his country, supported and excused by the Reagan Administration.

Walk The Way“:
Juan-Gerardi-Conedera

The history of Central America, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, is bloody. Many know of the violence in El Salvador, partly because of the killings of Archbishop Romero and the four US women missionaries in 1980, partly because of the overt US support of the government and military – in the mid-1980s at a rate of about one million US dollars a day.

The history of Guatemalan oppression is much less known, though it is bloodier and lasted longer…

After the war was over, the Guatemalan Archdiocesan Human Rights Office supported the Recovery of Historical Memory Project [REMHI], to investigate the killings. The project released a report that implicated the Guatemalan government and military in 90% of the 200,000 plus killings and disappearances. Guatemala City auxiliary bishop Juan Gerardi led the investigation and spoke at the release of the report.

Two days after the REMHI report was released, Bishop Gerardi was killed on April 26, 1988, fifteen years ago today.

I noticed the other day that the cause for canonization of Oscar Romero was moving forward, and there was mention that the Vatican may consider Jean Donavan, Dorothy Kazel, Ita Ford and Maura Clarke) not raped and murdered because — as Alexander Haig said “they weren’t just nuns, they were social workers” — of their faith… i.e., as saints and martyrs.

The Church recognized several of the victims of the Mexican Cristero War of the 1920s as saints and martyrs, but in future histories of the Church Ronald Reagan is going to give Plutarco Elias Calles a run for the title as the creator of the most saints in the Americas.  In the larger world, Calles may only be an also-ran… when it comes to offing Christians, Reagan will rank up there with the Emperor Diocletian.

christians-lions-colosseum

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