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30th Anniversary: Murders in San Salvador at UCA

May 2, 2009

Thirty years ago, six Jesuits and a mother and daughter who worked with them were murdered in San Salvador. At the time, the army was suspected for ordering the killings, with orders from the president. The Jesuits and people who worked alongside them were active in calling for justice and educating people to help build better lives for their community. It was dangerous work and they lived with integrity. Last month, it was announced that a Spanish judge will hear the case against 14 military people who are alleged to have committed the murders, and leaving open the possibility of indicting the president at the time, Alberto Cristiani.

I’ve wondered a lot about Jesuits and how they do things. I’ve seen Jesuits cry in sorrow when hearing someone else’s story or admitting their own mistakes. I’ve seen Jesuits use all the wily ways they can find to work themselves out of responsibility. I’ve seen Jesuits walk away. I’ve seen Jesuits run to the front of the line to address whatever is going on. I’ve seen Jesuits speak up when their superiors or another Jesuit makes mistakes. I’ve seen Jesuits be mute and non-responsive and let other Jesuits get away with whatever they did wrong and help cover it up.

I have a history with Jesuits. It’s helped me hold them accountable, not because we are friends but because we speak the same language and there’s some familiarity.

In the journey of reporting a Jesuit abuser, I’ve seen just about everything I described already.

Let’s see what happens when I finally hear from Tim McMahon.

Maybe I see a hint of God in these things.



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