Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rome[r]o and Juliet




In previous posts, we have looked at the way the story of Socrates in Ancient Greece and “The Matrix” in Hollywood’s imaginary future both provide parallels that shed light on the argument that Archbishop Óscar A. Romero was killed in hatred of the Christian faith.  Today, we use William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” (1597) to explain another aspect of Romero’s martyrdom cause, which is easier to grasp than the first two, but still is enriched by the literary comparison.
The Salvadoran Church has posited that Romero demonstrated a Gospel-inspired love for the poor, but his pure and saintly love was misconstrued by Salvadoran society and violently rejected.  The argument is straightforward enough, but it is dramatically illustrated in Shakespeare’s masterpiece.  In “Romeo and Juliet,” two young people fall in love.  Their love is innocent and pure but, because they come from two rival families, it receives a very hostile reception.  The rudimentary elements were present in El Salvador during Romero’s time, a country polarized between leftist radical insurgents and a rightwing military defending the status quo.  Archbishop Romero made a Gospel-based “preferential option for the poor,” but his act of love was interpreted as a political election by both camps.
Two households,” in the “fair Verona” of Shakespeare’s play, “From ancient grudge break to new mutiny/Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” (Prologue 1-4.)  The “ancient grudge” in El Salvador was social unrest that dated at least as far back as the 1920s, when major discontentment against the broad social inequality between the landowners and the peasants led to an uprising and a subsequent massacre in 1932, in which 10,000 to 40,000 peasants were killed by the army.  We are polarized,” Archbishop Romero admonished his countrymen in 1980.  We have placed ourselves at one extreme of a pole, are intransigent in our thinking, incapable of reconciliation, hating one another unto death.”  Such an environment is toxic for untainted love.
The wholesome and blameless nature of Romeo and Juliet’s love is attested to by the religious terms with which Shakespeare has the young lovers describe their courting (words such as “shrine”, “pilgrim” and “saint” recur in Act I, Sc. 5).  Archbishop Romero described what motivated his pastoral action when he spoke about Father Rutilio Grande, the first priest assassinated in El Salvador during Romero’s time as archbishop.  Calling Fr. Grande’s motivation “true love,” Archbishop Romero said of Fr. Grande words that we may apply to Romero as well: “A priest with his campesinos, walking to meet his people, to identify himself with them, to live with them—this is an inspiration of love and not revolution.”  Romero noted that “it was at the time when Father Grande walked among the people, proclaiming the message of salvation and the Mass, that he was shot down.”  He insisted that the Church’s option was based on the “one faith that leads us along paths that are quite distinct from other ideologies that are not of the Church—paths that offer an alternative to these ideologies: the cause of love.”
One of the reasons this “love” was rejected in the highly polarized society of El Salvador is that it was seen as a betrayal by the powerful classes who had assumed Romero was on their side.  In “Romeo and Juliet,” the Capulets reject their own daughter because she refuses to conform to their expectations about who she should marry (Act III, Sc. 5).  In El Salvador, Archbishop Romero did not act in conformity with the expectations of many who had supported his nomination for archbishop, that he would side with the ruling class and not criticize the government, and this was seen as treason.  But Romero made his option for the poor because he recognized that it was the path to Christ: “As we draw near to the poor, we find we are gradually uncovering the genuine face of the Suffering Servant of Yahweh.”
Shakespeare’s play, like Romero’s assassination, shows how love provokes hatred from a society steeped in hate.   In the final comparison, just as Romeo and Juliet’s deaths reconciled the feuding families in the Shakespeare tragedy, Archbishop Romero’s martyrdom and canonization may greatly contribute to the reconciliation of the Salvadoran family. 

Rome[r]o y Julieta




En notas anteriores, hemos visto cómo la historia de Sócrates en la Grecia antigua y The Matrix en un futuro imaginario de Hollywood nos proporcionan paralelismos para comprender los argumentos de que Mons. Óscar A. Romero fue asesinado por odio a la fe cristiana. En esta ocasión, utilizamos a “Romeo y Julieta” de William Shakespeare (1597) para explicar otro aspecto de la causa del martirio de Romero, que es más fácil de entender que los dos primeros, pero aún se enriquece de la comparación literaria.
La iglesia salvadoreña ha postulado que Romero demostró un amor para los pobres inspirado desde el Evangelio, pero su amor puro y santo fue malinterpretado por la sociedad salvadoreña y rechazado violentamente. El argumento no es complicado, pero se ilustra dramáticamente en la obra maestra de Shakespeare. En “Romeo y Julieta,” dos jóvenes se enamoran. Su amor es puro e inocente, pero porque vienen de dos familias rivales, recibe una recepción muy hostil. Los elementos rudimentarios estaban presentes en El Salvador en la época de Romero, un país polarizado entre insurgentes radicales izquierdistas y militares ultraderechistas que defendían el status quo. Mons. Romero hizo una evangélica “opción preferencial por los pobres”, pero su acto de amor fue interpretado como una elección política por ambos bandos.
Dos familias rivales”, en la “hermosa Verona” del drama de Shakespeare, “por sus antiguos rencores brotan nuevos motines, y sangre civil inculpa manos civiles”. (Prólogo 1-4). El “rencor antiguo” en El Salvador era un malestar social que databa al menos ya a la década de 1920, cuando un mayor descontento contra la amplia desigualdad social entre los terratenientes y los campesinos llevó a un levantamiento armado y a una posterior masacre en 1932, en la que 10.000 a 40.000 campesinos fueron asesinados por el ejército. “Nos hemos polarizado”, Mons. Romero amonestó a sus compatriotas en 1980. “Cada uno de nosotros está polarizado, se ha puesto en un polo de ideas intransigentes, incapaces de reconciliación, odiamos a muerte”. Tal ambiente es tóxico para el amor incontaminado.
La naturaleza sana e irreprochable del amor de Romeo y de Julieta viene señalada por los términos religiosos con que Shakespeare hace que los jóvenes amantes describan su cortejo (palabras tales como “santuario”, “peregrino” y “santo” se repiten en el acto I, escena 5). Mons. Romero describió lo que motivó su acción pastoral cuando habló del padre Rutilio Grande, el primer sacerdote asesinado en El Salvador en el arzobispado de Mons. Romero. Llamó la motivación del p. Grande “amor verdadero”, y habló sobre el p. Grande con palabras que nosotros trasladamos a Mons. Romero: “Un sacerdote con sus campesinos, camino a su pueblo para identificarse con ellos, para vivir con ellos, no una inspiración revolucionaria, sino una inspiración de amor”. Romero señaló que “es significativo que mientras el Padre Grande caminaba para su pueblo, a llevar el mensaje de la misa y de la salvación, allí fue donde cayó acribillado”. Insistió en que la opción de la iglesia se basa en “una iluminación de fe que nos va conduciendo por caminos muy distintos de otras ideologías, que no son de la Iglesia, para sembrar lo que la Iglesia ofrece: Una motivación de amor”.
Una de las razones de que este “amor” fue rechazado en la sociedad altamente polarizada de El Salvador es que fue visto como traición por las clases poderosas que habían presupuesto que Romero estaría de su lado. En “Romeo y Julieta,” los Capuletos rechazan a su hija porque se niega a cumplir con las expectativas de ellos acerca de con quién debe casarse (acto III, Esc. 5). En El Salvador, Mons. Romero no actuó conforme a las expectativas de muchos que habían apoyado su candidatura para arzobispo, de ponerse de parte de la clase gobernante y no criticar al gobierno, y esto fue visto como una traición. Pero Romero hizo su opción por los pobres porque reconoció que era el camino hacia Cristo: “en este acercarse al pobre, descubrimos el verdadero rostro del siervo sufriente de Yahvé”.
La obra de Shakespeare, como el asesinato de Romero, muestra cómo el amor provoca el odio de una sociedad hundida en la enemistad. En la comparación final, al igual que las muertes de Romeo y de Julieta reconciliaron a las familias rivales en la tragedia de Shakespeare, el martirio y la canonización de Mons. Romero contribuirán enormemente a reconciliar la familia salvadoreña.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Socrates and Archbishop Romero

 


Fed up with a “gadfly” who disrupted the status quo, the Greek authorities put Socrates—who is today regarded as one of the founders of Western philosophy—on trial for allegedly corrupting the youth and for heresy.  The uncompromising social critic had gotten under the skins of the ruling class, relentlessly challenging the assumptions of his day, daring those around him to question their lives, to take nothing for granted, and to accept no authority but that of their own minds.  Not surprisingly, Socrates was also accused of undermining Greek democracy, and sentenced to death by drinking poison hemlock.  Socrates’ example can help us understand one of the theories supporting the martyrdom cause of Archbishop Óscar A. Romero of El Salvador.

An earlier post examined the argument by the Salvadoran Church that the hatred of Archbishop Romero’s faith on the part of his killers could be established by National Security Doctrine analysis, and today we turn to the argument that hatred of his faith is also evident in their desire to kill him in order to snuff out his irritating appeal to their guilt-ridden consciences.  Like Archbishop Romero in 1980 A.D., Socrates in 399 B.C. had become a pesky nuisance for his society.  Socrates’ disciple, Plato, would later describe his mentor as a “gadfly,” whose job was to sting and provoke society, which he compared to a slow and dimwitted horse.  Insisting that his philosophical provocation was a needed social contribution, Socrates declared that “The unexamined life is not worth living,” and accepted his sentence rather than retracting his teachings. His willingness to challenge ideas he found unsound was resented by some prominent intellectuals.  He also made powerful enemies when he denounced what he perceived as corruption in Athenian democracy.  His social criticism became increasingly aggravating to the ruling elites, and he was inevitably tried, convicted, and sentenced to death at the age of 70.

Similarly, Archbishop Romero’s criticisms of Salvadoran society irritated the ruling class because of his uncompromising defense of the poor and denunciation of the abuses committed against them.  In his first major sermon, Romero anticipates the resistance that his message will encounter, when he humbly states, “This bishop, the lowliest member of the family, chosen by God to be a sign of unity ... graciously thanks you for joining him in giving the awaiting world the Church’s word.”  Later, when Romero has recognized that he has become a major nuisance to the oligarchs, he pleads, “My sisters and brothers, as Pastor, I invite you to listen to the hoarse and imperfect echo of my words.”  He insists, “Do not focus on the instrument but focus on the One who bids me to tell you of God’s infinite love.”  Appealing to the magisterium of Christ Himself, the Archbishop entreats: “Be converted! Be reconciled! Love one another! Become a family of the baptized, a family of God’s children!  And finally, desperate at finding that his words are falling on deaf ears, Romero extols, “If they do not want to listen to me, let them at least listen to the voice of Pope John Paul II...”

But the Empire’s minions had hardened their hearts and shut their ears.  Rather than heed his calls to conversion, they begin a whisper campaign against him, to discredit him and defame him, to make him appear contemptible to the army and to the armed bands of criminals who carry out the extrajudicial killings of those branded as enemies of the state.  Although the motives for his killing included political pretexts—that the Archbishop’s criticisms favored the Marxist guerrillas, or that Romero’s tone may have been imprudent—the fact that another part of the motive for his killing was to silence a critic who had become intolerable to the ruling class is undeniable. 

Like Socrates, Romero was killed for asking the powerful to obey their consciences.  This message from his last Sunday sermon is unmistakable: “No soldier is obliged to obey an order against the law of God. No one has to fulfill an immoral law. It is time to take back your consciences and to obey your consciences rather than the orders of sin.”  It was his death sentence.  He was killed the following day.

Before his own conviction, Socrates defended his role as dissenter, insisting that, “If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me.”  Archbishop Romero would have agreed: “They can kill me but the voice of justice can never be stilled.”  Blinded by their misguided outrage, the persecutors wagered that they could snuff out the voice of conscience.  As always, they were wrong.

Sócrates y Mons. Romero

 


Harto de un “tábano” que interrumpía el status quo, las autoridades griegas sometieron a Sócrates — quien hoy es considerado como uno de los fundadores de la filosofía occidental — a un juicio por supuestamente corromper a la juventud y por herejía. Este crítico social intransigente se había convertido en una verdadera molestia para la clase dominante, implacablemente desafiando las suposiciones de su época, atreviendo a sus contemporáneos a cuestionar sus vidas, a no tomar nada como un supuesto y a no aceptar ninguna autoridad más que su propia inteligencia. No es de extrañar, que Sócrates también fue acusado de socavar la democracia griega y fue condenado a muerte bebiendo veneno. El ejemplo de Sócrates puede ayudarnos a entender una de las teorías que sustentan la causa del martirio de Mons. Óscar A. Romero de El Salvador.

Una entrega anterior examinaba el argumento de la Iglesia Salvadoreña que el odio de la fe cristiana por parte de los asesinos de Mons. Romero se puede establecer analizando la doctrina de seguridad nacional, y hoy nos dirigimos al argumento de que el odio de su fe también se evidencia en su deseo de matarlo para de acabar con un apelo irritante a sus conciencias. Tal como Mons. Romero en 1980 A.D., Sócrates en 399 A.C. se había convertido en una fastidiosa molestia para su sociedad. Su discípulo Platón llegaría a describir a su mentor como un “tábano”, cuyo trabajo consistía en picar y provocar a la sociedad, que comparaba a un caballo lento y torpe. Insistiendo en que su provocación filosófica era un aporte social muy necesario, Sócrates declararó que “una vida no examinada no merece ser vivida,” y prefiere su condena a retraer sus ideas. Su intención de desafiar conceptos que encontraba defectuosos fue resentida por algunos intelectuales prominentes. También hizo enemigos poderosos cuando denunció lo que consideraba la corrupción de la democracia ateniense. Su crítica social se convirtió cada vez más agravante a las élites gobernantes e inevitablemente fue juzgado, condenado y sentenciado a muerte a la edad de 70 años.

De manera bastante parecida, las críticas de Mons. Romero a la sociedad salvadoreña irritaron a la clase gobernante por su defensa intransigente de los pobres y su denuncia de los abusos cometidos contra ellos. En su primera gran homilía, Romero anticipa la resistencia que encontrará su mensaje, cuando humildemente afirma que “El más humilde de toda la familia escogido por Dios para ser el signo de la unidad, este obispo, les agradece cordialmente de estar dando con él, al mundo que espera la palabra de la Iglesia”. Después, cuando Romero llega a reconocer que se ha convertido en una gran molestia a los oligarcas, exhorta, “Yo les invito, hermanos, como Pastor, a que escuchen mis palabras como un eco imperfecto, tosco” — e insiste — “no se fijen en el instrumento, fíjense en el que lo manda decir: el amor infinito de Dios”. Apelando al Magisterio del propio Cristo, el arzobispo exige: “¡Conviértanse, reconcíliense, ámense, hagan un pueblo de bautizados, una familia de hijos de Dios!” Y por último, desesperado al encontrar que sus palabras caen en oídos sordos, Romero suplica, “Si no quieren escucharme a mí, oigan, por lo menos, la voz del Papa Juan Pablo II...

Pero los súbditos del Imperio habían endurecido sus corazones y cerrado sus oídos. En vez de prestar atención a sus llamadas a la conversión, comienzan una campaña de susurros en su contra, para desacreditarlo y difamarlo, para hacerlo parecer despreciable al ejército y a las bandas armadas de delincuentes que llevan a cabo los asesinatos extrajudiciales de los que han sido calificados como enemigos del estado. Aunque los motivos de su asesinato incluyen pretextos políticos — de que las críticas del arzobispo favorecieron la guerrilla marxista, o que el tono de las críticas de Romero pudo haber sido imprudente — el hecho de que otra parte del motivo de su muerte fue silenciar a un crítico que se había vuelto intolerable a la clase dirigente es innegable.

Como Sócrates, Romero fue asesinado por interpelar a los poderosos a obedecer a sus conciencias. Este mensaje de su última homilía dominical es inconfundible: “Ningún soldado está obligado a obedecer una orden contra la Ley de Dios. Una ley inmoral, nadie tiene que cumplirla. Ya es tiempo de que recuperen su conciencia y que obedezcan antes a su conciencia que a la orden del pecado”. Debió haber sido su sentencia de muerte. Fue asesinado al día siguiente.

Antes de su muerte, Sócrates defendió su rol de disidente, insistiendo en que, “Si matan a un hombre como yo, ustedes mismos se harán más daño del daño que me harán a mí”. Mons. Romero habría estado de acuerdo: “Aunque me maten, nadie puede callar ya la voz de la Justicia”.  Cegados por su indignación errada, los perseguidores apostaron que podían apagar la voz de la conciencia. Como siempre, se equivocaron.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Romero Fnd'n Condemns D'Aubuisson Tribute



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From the Archbishop Oscar A. Romero Foundation to the People of God and to the general public:
[Super Martyrio Translation]

This past week we heard the announcement by the Mayor of San Salvador Norman Quijano that all City Council members had approved changing the name of “St. Anthony Abbott Street” (Calle San Antonio Abad), running from the University of El Salvador to 75th Avenue North, for Major Roberto D'Aubuisson, the name of the person who has been identified as the murderer of Archbishop Romero by the Truth Commission appointed by the United Nations and by most of the Salvadoran people, as well as by key witnesses who participated in the execution of the murder of our Pastor and Martyr, such as the statements of former Army Captain Alvaro Saravia, published on March 22, 2010 by a digital newspaper under the title, “How we killed Archbishop Romero.” The US Ambassador to El Salvador at the time, Robert White, has called Mr. D'Aubuisson a “Pathological Murderer.”
We are offended by this news but not surprised, because we know that those who applauded the brutal murder of Archbishop Romero continue to possess hearts of stone and continue to worship their eternal idols: power and money.
Our indignation is also based on the thinking of our Archbishop, Monsignor José Luis Escobar, who on Sunday November 30, in an interview with reporters, clearly expressed his opinion in opposition to the name change.
It seems a rather crude decision because it is taken just as, according to reports from representatives of the Catholic Church, we are getting closer to an eventual beatification and subsequent canonization of Archbishop Romero, recognizing in him a martyr's death and a life that adhered to the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth and to the Magisterium of the Church.
Just as we approach the time when the Church will officially tell us what the populace has already recognized for years, that this great Pastor, Prophet and Martyr is an example to follow in our Christian lives, these individuals come forward who want to exalt the figure of his murderer. This can only come from a diabolical urge. Although, as Christians, we hope that the Lord has mercy.
With this arrogant attitude that characterizes them, they ignore the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which in its ruling on April 13, 2000 asks the Salvadoran government to avoid making tributes to the murderers and that it rather exalt the figure of the Archbishop.
Monseñor [Romero] was killed because of his fidelity to the Gospel and the Magisterium of the Church.
We reject this decision of Mayor Quijano, his Municipal Council and others behind them. At the same time we call God's people and all people of good will to express, peacefully, their repudiation of the decision of said Council.

I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation” (Luke 11:49-50)

San Salvador, December 4, 2014

Fund. Romero condena tributo a D’Aubuisson

 


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De la Fundación Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez al pueblo de Dios y al público en general
La semana recién pasada hemos escuchado las declaraciones del Alcalde de San Salvador Norman Quijano anunciando, que todos los miembros de su Concejo Municipal tomaron la decisión de sustituir el nombre de Calle San Antonio Abad, que va desde la Universidad de El Salvador hasta la 75 Av. Nte. por el de Mayor Roberto D’Aubuisson, nombre que corresponde a la persona que ha sido señalada como el asesino de Monseñor Romero, por La Comisión de la Verdad nombrada por Las Naciones Unidas y por la mayor parte del pueblo salvadoreño; así como también por testigos claves que participaron en la materialización del asesinato de nuestro Pastor Mártir como las declaraciones del ex Capitán del Ejército Álvaro Saravia publicadas el 22 de Marzo de 2010 por un Periódico Digital bajo el título “Así matamos a Monseñor Romero.” El Embajador de Los Estados Unidos en El Salvador, en aquellos tiempos, Robert White le llamó “Asesino Patológico”.
Nos indigna esta noticia, pero no nos sorprende porque ya sabemos que los que aplaudieron el brutal asesinato de Monseñor Romero siguen manteniendo un corazón de piedra y siguen adorando a sus ídolos de siempre: El poder y el dinero.
Nuestra indignación también se basa en el pensamiento de nuestro Arzobispo Monseñor José Luis Escobar quien, el domingo 30 de Noviembre, en la entrevista con los periodistas, expresó claramente su parecer contrario al cambio de nombre.
Nos parece una decisión bastante burda porque se toma justamente cuando, según algunas informaciones de representantes de la Iglesia Católica, nos vamos acercando a una eventual beatificación y posterior canonización de Monseñor Romero, reconociendo en Él una muerte martirial y una vida apegada al Evangelio de Jesús de Nazaret y al Magisterio de la Iglesia.
Justo cuando nos acercamos al momento en que la Iglesia, de forma oficial, nos va a decir lo que la población ya reconoce desde hace años, que este gran Pastor, Profeta y Mártir es ejemplo que debemos seguir en nuestra vida cristiana, es que aparecen estos personajes queriendo exaltar la figura de quien fue su asesino. Esto no puede venir de un impulso que no sea diabólico. Como cristianos esperamos que el Señor haya tenido misericordia con él.
Con esa actitud prepotente que les caracteriza, hacen caso omiso de las recomendaciones de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, que en su sentencia del 13 de Abril del año 2000 pide al Estado Salvadoreño que omita cualquier homenaje a los asesinos y que al contrario, se exalte la figura del Arzobispo.
A Monseñor lo mataron por su apego al Evangelio y al Magisterio de la Iglesia.
Repudiamos este acuerdo del Alcalde Norman Quijano, de su Concejo Municipal y de las demás personas que están detrás de ellos. Al mismo tiempo hacemos un llamado al pueblo de Dios y a las personas de buena voluntad que expresen, de forma pacífica, su repudio al acuerdo tomado por el mencionado Concejo.
Les enviaré profetas y apóstoles; a unos los matarán, y a otros los perseguirán. Pero Dios va a pedir cuentas a esta generación de la sangre de todos los profetas derramada desde la creación del mundo” (Lucas 11, 49-50)
San Salvador, 4 de diciembre de 2014


~~~
 
Les estamos invitando a la Concentración que estamos promoviendo con el objetivo de dar a conocer nuestro desacuerdo por el cambio de nombre de la #calleSanAntonioAbad

 Lugar: Monumento a la Constitución
 Fecha: Sábado 13 de diciembre 2014
 Hora: A partir de las 3:00 pm


 Les pedimos nos ayuden a compartir e invitar a todos los que deseen participar.

 FUNDACIÓN MONSEÑOR ROMERO

Fond. Romero condanna omaggio a D'Aubuisson


 
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Dalla Fondazione Mons. Oscar A. Romero al Popolo di Dio ed al grande pubblico:

[Traduzione Super Martyrio]

La scorsa settimana abbiamo sentito l’annuncio da parte del sindaco di San Salvador Norman Quijano che tutti i membri del Consiglio Municipale hanno approvato cambiare il nome di Via Sant’Antonio Abate (Calle San Antonio Abad), in che corre dall’Università di El Salvador a 75 ° Viale a Nord, in nome di maggiore Roberto D’Aubuisson, persona che è stato identificato come l’assassino di Mons. Romero da parte della Commissione Verità nominata dalle Nazioni Unite e dalla maggior parte dei popolo salvadoregno, nonché da testimoni chiave di coloro che hanno partecipato alla realizzazione dell’omicidio del nostro pastore e martire, come ad esempio le dichiarazioni dell’ex capitano dell’Esercito Alvaro Saravia, pubblicato 22 marzo 2010 da un giornale digitale con il titolo: “Così abbiamo ucciso monsignor Romero”. L’ambasciatore degli Stati Uniti a El Salvador, al momento, Robert White, ha chiamato D’Aubuisson un “assassino patologico”.

Siamo offesi da questa notizia, ma non sorpresi, perché sappiamo che chi ha applaudito il brutale assassinio di monsignor Romero continuano a possedere i cuori di pietra e continuano ad adorare i loro idoli eterni: il potere e il denaro.

La nostra indignazione si basa anche sul pensiero del nostro Arcivescovo, Mons. José Luis Escobar, che di Domenica 30 novembre in un’intervista con i giornalisti, chiaramente espresso la sua opinione in opposizione al cambio di nome.

Sembra una decisione piuttosto brutta, perché si è presa nel momento in cui, secondo quanto riferito da rappresentanti della Chiesa cattolica, ci stiamo avvicinando ad un eventuale beatificazione e successiva canonizzazione di Mons. Romero, riconoscendo in lui la morte di un martire e una vita che rispettato il Vangelo di Gesù di Nazaret e al Magistero della Chiesa.

Adesso che ci avviciniamo al momento in cui la Chiesa ufficialmente dirci cosa che la popolazione ha già riconosciuto da anni, che questo grande pastore, profeta e martire è un esempio da seguire nella nostra vita cristiana, appaiono questi individui che vogliono esaltare la figura del suo assassino. Questo può venire solo da una spinta diabolica. Anche se, come cristiani, speriamo che il Signore ha pietà di lui.

Con questo atteggiamento arrogante che li caratterizza, ignorano le raccomandazioni della Commissione Inter-Americana sui Diritti Umani, che nella sua sentenza dal 13 aprile 2000 chiede al governo salvadoregno di evitare di fare omaggi a gli assassini e che invece esaltano la figura di l’Arcivescovo.

Monsignor [Romero] è stato ucciso a causa della sua fedeltà al Vangelo e al Magistero della Chiesa.

Respingiamo questa decisione del sindaco Quijano, il suo Consiglio comunale e gli altri dietro di loro. Allo stesso tempo, chiamiamo il popolo di Dio e tutte le persone di buona volontà di esprimere, pacificamente, il loro ripudio della decisione del Consiglio.

Io manderò loro de’ profeti e degli apostoli; ed essi ne uccideranno gli uni, e ne perseguiteranno gli altri. Acciocchè sia ridomandato a questa generazione il sangue di tutti i profeti, che è stato sparso fin dalla fondazione del mondo.” (Luca 11: 49-50)

San Salvador, 4 dicembre 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Salvador: honors for Romero assassin


Victims of political assassination in El Salvador, 1982.  Giovanni Palazzo photo, El Faro.
The mayor of San Salvador has created a stir by announcing that a historic thoroughfare in the Salvadoran capital is being renamed to honor Roberto D’Aubuisson,  a man believed to have organized rightwing death squads during El Salvador’s civil war (1980-1992) and masterminded the assassination of Archbishop Óscar A. Romero in March 1980.  Mayor Norman Quijano insists that the decision is not intended as a slight to Romero, whose beatification is widely expected within the next year, but is based on D’Aubuisson’s merits as president of the constituent assembly that drafted El Salvador’s constitution and as founder of the ARENA party that ruled El Salvador after the war.
Human Rights Ombudsman David Morales announced that he will mount a legal challenge to the action on grounds that it infringes the right to the truth, and that it flouts the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the case of Archbishop Romero.  Morales said his office has received complaints regarding the decision.  [In the interest of full disclosure, Super Martyrio wrote the Ombudsman on the subject.]

The Salvadoran Church has also declared its disapproval. Abp. José Luis Escobar, the successor of Abp. Romero, noted that the street is now named for Saint Anthony the Abbott and that the Church considers it a lack of respect for religious sensibilities to replace the name of the saint with D'Aubuisson’s. Moreover, Escobar said the Church considers itself an “injured party” in the Romero case, the case of the Jesuits, the American churchwomen and other priests and laity killed by the death squads. Escobar compared the feeling of the Church to “when a person whose brother is killed sees the person presumed to be the material or intellectual author of the murder receive an award.”
The timing of Quijano’s announcement, coming just days after Salvadorans marked the somber 25th anniversary of the assassination of six Jesuits in El Salvador’s Catholic university and a few months shy of the 35th anniversary of the Romero assassination, have raised eyebrows and objections from activists who argue it is inappropriate to create monuments for a war criminal.  Mayor Quijano’s argument that D’Aubuisson was never convicted of any of the crimes he is accused of ring hollow to protesters who are quick to point out that D’Aubuisson and his allies blocked every effort to prosecute or investigate those atrocities.
To hazard the motives behind Quijano’s decision requires a crash course in Salvadoran politics.  First, Quijano is a bit of an Icarus figure in Salvadoran politics, having risen in a blaze of glory as San Salvador’s brazen, no holds barred mayor, and then having crashed and burned after a failed attempt to take the country’s presidency for his party.  Not long after that defeat, Quijano was dumped by ARENA in what should have been an unquestioned mayoral reelection bid.  Instead, Quijano was forced to step aside and another candidate is taking his place on the ballot early next year.  Therefore, there is a parting shot flavor to this decision, which Quijano quietly rammed through his city council—in Salvadoran elections, voters elect their municipal governments by party flag and thus the mayor and the council are always from the same party.  Chances are that Quijano is seeking to unify the party after these divisions with an appeal to the hardcore ideological bases.
D’Aubuisson had been an officer with the notorious Salvadoran Guardia Nacional, an internal military police force, and an intelligence operative believed to have been almost single handedly responsible for creating the country’s internal intelligence apparatus, including as director of the Salvadoran National Security Agency (Ansesal).  In the late 70s and early 80s, D’Aubuisson was linked to funding and organizing paramilitary death squads that evaded civilian monitoring. 
In 1993, a U.N. Truth Commission found that, “As the social conflict in El Salvador intensified … D’Aubuisson was well placed to provide a link between a very aggressive sector of Salvadorian society and the intelligence network and operations of the S-II sections of the security forces.”  The Commission concluded that D’Aubuisson actively sought to eliminate opposition to the regime through “the illegal use of force.” Prior to the Commission’s findings, D’Aubuisson had been denied a visa to enter the United States by the Reagan administration under  INA § 212(a)(28)(G)(ii), a former provision of the immigration law which made it grounds for inadmissibility into the U.S. to support politically-motivated extrajudicial killings. 
The U.N. Truth Commission also specifically concluded that, “[f]ormer Major Roberto D’Aubuisson gave the order to assassinate the Archbishop and gave precise instructions to members of his security service, acting as a ‘death squad’, to organize and supervise the assassination” of Archbishop Romero.  The findings as to Romero have been confirmed by an OAS human rights commission, a U.S. federal civil lawsuit, and numerous journalistic and scholarly investigations.
In Antiguo Cuscatlán, where the mayor is an ARENA stalwart, a roundabout (traffic circle) bears D’Aubuisson’s name and flies the party’s tricolor flag along with the national standard.  Every year, the party’s most loyal members, including multiple former presidents, visit D’Aubuisson’s grave to mark the anniversary of his death in a private ceremony.  In 2007, ARENA attempted to obtain a legislative decree granting D’Aubuisson a “Meritorious Son of the Nation” recognition.  The effort was beat back by legendary human rights activist María Julia Hernández, a Romero disciple.

[More at Tim’s El Salvador Blog.]

El Salvador: un homenaje al asesino de Romero


Víctimas de asesinatos políticos en el Salvador, 1982.  Foto de Giovanni Palazzo, El Faro.
 
El alcalde de San Salvador ha creado un gran revuelo con su anuncio de que una vía histórica en la capital salvadoreña llevará el nombre de Roberto D'Aubuisson, un hombre que se cree haber organizado escuadrones de la muerte durante la guerra civil de El Salvador (1980-1992) y ser el autor intelectual del asesinato de Mons. Óscar A. Romero en marzo de 1980. El alcalde Norman Quijano insiste que su decisión no debe interpretarse como una desestima de Romero, cuya beatificación se espera en el próximo año, y que se basa sobre los méritos de D'Aubuisson como presidente de la constituyente que redactó la constitución de El Salvador y como fundador del partido ARENA, que gobernó El Salvador después de la guerra.
El Procurador de Derechos Humanos, David Morales, anunció que va a montar un recurso legal en contra de la acción por considerar que vulnera el derecho a la verdad, y que incumple las recomendaciones de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos en el caso de Monseñor Romero. Morales dijo que su oficina ha recibido reclamos sobre la decisión. [En el interés de la transparencia, Súper Martyrio escribió al Procurador sobre el tema.]

La Iglesia Salvadoreña también señala su desaprobación. Mons. José Luis Escobar, el sucesor de Mons. Romero, hizo notar que la calle actualmente está nombrada por San Antonio Abad y que la Iglesia considera falta de respeto a la sensibilidad religiosa quitarle el nombre del santo y ponerle el de D’Aubuisson.  Además, Escobar dijo que la Iglesia se considera “parte ofendida” en el caso Romero, el caso de los jesuitas, las religiosas estadounidenses, y de otros sacerdotes y laicos ultimados por los escuadrones.  Escobar comparó el sentir de la Iglesia a “como cuando a una persona le matan a un hermano y quien se supone es el autor material o intelectual de ese asesinato es galardonado”.
El momento del anuncio de Quijano, sólo días después de que los salvadoreños marcaron el sombrío 25 º aniversario del asesinato de seis jesuitas en la universidad católica de El Salvador y algunos meses antes del 35 º aniversario del asesinato de Romero, ha llamado la atención y las objeciones de activistas que insisten que no es apropiado levantar monumentos para un criminal de guerra. El argumento del alcalde Quijano que D'Aubuisson nunca fue condenado de los delitos que se le imputan les suenan huecos a manifestantes que señalan que D'Aubuisson y sus aliados bloquearon todos los esfuerzos para procesar o investigar aquellas atrocidades.
Adivinar los motivos de la decisión de Quijano requiere un curso intensivo en la política salvadoreña. En primer lugar, Quijano lleva algo de un Ícaro en la política salvadoreña, habiendo ascendido en un resplandor de gloria como el hombre de acción, alcalde sin tabúes de San Salvador, y luego estrellarse tras un intento fallido de tomar la presidencia del país para su partido. No mucho después de esa derrota, Quijano fue rechazado por ARENA para lo que debería haber sido un intento por la reelección a la alcaldía incuestionable. En cambio, Quijano se vio obligado a hacerse a un lado y otro candidato está tomando su lugar en la boleta electoral a principios del próximo año. Por lo tanto, esta decisión tiene sabor a golpe de despedida, ya que Quijano la apuró silenciosamente en su consejo municipal—en las elecciones salvadoreñas, los votantes eligen a sus gobiernos municipales por bandera partidaria y por ende el alcalde y el consejo son siempre del mismo partido.  Lo más probable es que Quijano ha querido unificar el partido después de las divisiones con un tema llamativo a las bases ideológicas más pujantes.
D'Aubuisson había sido un oficial de la notorio Guardia Nacional salvadoreña, una policía militar interna, y un agente de inteligencia considerado casi únicamente responsable de crear el aparato de inteligencia interna del país, incluso como director de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad Salvadoreña (ANSESAL). A finales de los años 70 y principios de los 80, D'Aubuisson fue vinculado a la financiación y organización de escuadrones de la muerte paramilitares que evadieron supervisión civil.
En 1993, una Comisión de la Verdad de la ONU concluyó que, “A la par de que agudizaba el conflicto social en El Salvador ... D'Aubuisson se colocó en posición privilegiada para poder vincular, a través suyo, a un sector muy agresivo de la sociedad salvadoreña con la red de inteligencia y operaciones de la S-II de las fuerzas de seguridad”. La Comisión llegó a la conclusión de que D'Aubuisson buscó activamente eliminar la oposición al régimen a través del “uso ilegal de la fuerza”. Antes de que la Comisión concluyera en este sentido, D'Aubuisson había sido negado visa para entrar a Estados Unidos por la administración Reagan bajo una disposición anterior de la ley de inmigración que declaraba motivo de inadmisibilidad a los EE.UU. el apoyar ejecuciones extrajudiciales por motivos políticos.
La Comisión de la Verdad de la ONU también concluyó específicamente que, “[e]l ex-Mayor Roberto D’Aubuisson dio la orden asesinar al Arzobispo y dio instrucciones precisas a miembros de su entorno de seguridad, actuando como ‘escuadrón de la muerte’ de organizar y supervisar la ejecución del asesinato” de monseñor Romero. Los resultados en cuanto a Romero han sido confirmados por una comisión de los derechos humanos de la OEA, un fallo civil de un tribunal federal de Estados Unidos, y numerosas investigaciones periodísticas y académicas.
En Antiguo Cuscatlán, donde la alcaldesa es una militante incondicional de ARENA, un redondel lleva el nombre de D'Aubuisson y vuela la bandera tricolor del partido junto con el pabellón nacional. Cada año, los miembros más leales del partido, entre ellos varios ex presidentes, visitan la tumba de D'Aubuisson para conmemorar el aniversario de su muerte, en una ceremonia privada. En 2007, ARENA intentó obtener un decreto legislativo concediendo a D'Aubuisson el reconocimiento de “Hijo Meritísimo” de la Nación. Ese esfuerzo fue cancelado por la legendaria activista de los derechos humanos María Julia Hernández, discípula de Romero.

Salvador: un omaggio all'assassino di Romero






Le vittime di omicidi politici in El Salvador, 1982.  Foto di Giovanni Palazzo, El Faro.


English | español | français

Il sindaco di San Salvador ha creato scalpore annunciando che una via storica della capitale salvadoregna sarà rinominata in onore di Roberto D’Aubuisson, un uomo che si ritiene di aver organizzato squadroni della morte di destra durante la guerra civile di El Salvador (1980-1992) e architettato l’assassinio di monsignor Oscar A. Romero nel marzo 1980. Il sindaco Norman Quijano insiste sul fatto che la decisione non è irrispetosa di Romero, la cui beatificazione è ampiamente previsto entro il prossimo anno, ma si basa sui meriti di D’Aubuisson come presidente della assemblea costituente che ha redatto la costituzione di El Salvador e come fondatore del partito ARENA che governò El Salvador dopo la guerra.

Il difensore civico dei diritti umani David Morales ha annunciato che avvierà  un ricorso legale all’azione per motivi che viola il diritto alla verità, e che evade le raccomandazioni della Commissione Inter-Americana sui Diritti Umani nel caso di monsignor Romero. Morales ha detto che il suo ufficio ha ricevuto denunce in merito alla decisione. [Ai fini di una completa informativa, Super Martyrio ha scritto al difensore sull’argomento.]

La Chiesa salvadoregna ha inoltre dichiarato la sua disapprovazione. Mons. José Luis Escobar, il successore di Mons. Romero, ha osservato che oggi la strada prende il nome di Sant’Antonio Abate e che la Chiesa considera una mancanza di rispetto per la sensibilità religiosa di sostituire il nome del santo con quello di D’Aubuisson. Inoltre, Escobar ha detto che la Chiesa si considera una “parte lesa” nel caso Romero, il caso dei gesuiti, le religiose americane e altri sacerdoti e laici uccisi dalle squadre della morte. Escobar ha paragonato la sensazione della Chiesa come “quando una persona il cui fratello viene ucciso vede la persona che si presume essere l’autore materiale o intellettuale dell’assassinio ricevere un premio”.

La tempistica dell’annuncio di Quijano, pochi giorni dopo salvadoregni segnato il triste 25 ° anniversario dell’assassinio di sei gesuiti in università cattolica di El Salvador e un paio di mesi prima del 35 ° anniversario dell’assassinio Romero, hanno sollevato le sopracciglia e le obiezioni da parte degli attivisti che sostengono non è opportuno creare monumenti per un criminale di guerra. La tesi del sindaco Quijano che D’Aubuisson non fu mai condannato per uno dei reati di cui è accusato suonano vuoti per i manifestanti che sono pronti a sottolineare che D’Aubuisson ei suoi alleati hanno bloccato ogni sforzo per perseguire o indagare quelle atrocità.

Per indovinare le motivazioni della decisione di Quijano richiede un corso accelerato in politica salvadoregni. In primo luogo, Quijano è un po ‘di una figura Icaro in politica salvadoregni, visto che aveva una rapida ascesa come sindaco audace e uomo d’azione a San Salvador, e quindi dopo aver drammaticamente fallito in il suo tentativo di prendere la presidenza del paese per il suo partito. Non molto tempo dopo quella sconfitta, Quijano ha stato respinto da ARENA in quello che doveva essere un tentativo assicurato, per cercare di essere eletto sindaco per il partito. Invece, Quijano è stato costretto a farsi da parte e un altro candidato sta prendendo il suo posto sulla scheda elettorale all’inizio del prossimo anno. Pertanto, c'è un senso che Quijano fornisce un colpo d’addio col questa decisione, che Quijano tranquillamente speronato attraverso il suo consiglio comunale: in elezioni salvadoregne, gli elettori eleggono i loro governi comunali per bandiera di partito e, quindi, sindaco e consiglio sono sempre del stesso partito. Probabilmente, Quijano sta cercando di unificare il partito dopo le divisioni con un appello alle dure radici ideologiche.

D’Aubuisson era stato un ufficiale con il famigerato salvadoregno Guardia Nacional, una forza di polizia militare interna, e lui era un agente di intelligence, quasi da soli responsabile della creazione di apparati di intelligence interna del paese, anche per quanto direttore della National Security Agency salvadoregna (Ansesal). Alla fine degli anni ‘70 e primi anni ‘80, D’Aubuisson era legato al finanziamento e l’organizzazione di squadroni della morte paramilitari che evasi controllo civile.

Nel 1993, una Commissione per la Verità delle Nazioni Unite ha rilevato che, “Nella misura in cuiil conflitto sociale in El Salvador intensificato ... D’Aubuisson era ben posizionato per fornire un collegamento tra un settore molto aggressivo della società salvadoregna e la rete di intelligence e le operazioni delle sezioni S-II delle forze di sicurezza”. La Commissione ha concluso che D’Aubuisson ha cercato attivamente di eliminare l’opposizione al regime attraverso “l’uso illegale della forza”. Prima delle conclusioni della Commissione, D’Aubuisson era stato negato un visto per entrare negli Stati Uniti da l’amministrazione Reagan sotto un ex disposizione della legge sull’immigrazione che ha reso causale di inammissibilità negli Stati Uniti il sostenere esecuzioni extragiudiziali politicamente motivati.

La Commissione per la Verità delle Nazioni Unite anche specificamente concluso che, “l’ex maggiore Roberto D’Aubuisson ha dato l’ordine di assassinare l’arcivescovo e ha dato precise istruzioni ai membri del suo servizio di sicurezza, che agisce come un ‘squadrone della morte’, di organizzare e supervisionare il assassinio” di monsignor Romero. Le conclusioni per quanto riguarda Romero sono stati confermati da una commissione dell’OSA dei diritti umani, una corte civile statunitense federali, e numerose indagini giornalistiche e scientifiche.

In Antiguo Cuscatlán, dove la sindaco è lealista di ARENA, una rotatoria porta il nome di D’Aubuisson e vola la bandiera tricolore del partito insieme con lo standard nazionale. Ogni anno, i membri più fedeli del partito, tra cui diversi ex presidenti, visitano la tomba di D’Aubuisson per celebrare l’anniversario della sua morte in una cerimonia privata. Nel 2007, ARENA ha cercato di ottenere un decreto legislativo per concedere D’Aubuisson un riconoscimento di “Benemerito figlio della Nazione”. Lo sforzo è stato battuto dalla leggendaria attivista per i diritti umani, María Julia Hernández, una discepolo Romero.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Óscar Romero and “The Matrix”


Various arguments support the hypothesis that Archbishop Óscar A. Romero of El Salvador died a martyr, killed by persecutors who carried out his murder in hatred of the faith.  In an earlier post, I posited that one could show Romero’s martyrdom by crediting Romero as a “martyr of charity” along the lines of St. Lawrence of Rome or St. Maximilian Kolbe; by recognizing that Romero was killed because of his assassins’ aversion to the tenets of the Social Doctrine of the Church; and as a violent rejection of Romero’s powerful final sermon on the primacy of the Law of God.  We also can discern hatred of the faith from the National Security Doctrine (NSD) to which Romero’s killers subscribed.
The subject is somewhat dense but the argument can be aptly illustrated by reference to the world of the popular “Matrix” movies.  In “The Matrix” universe, the façade of society is in fact a computer-generated reality enforced by humanoid “Agents” who target for elimination freedom fighters and computer viruses alike because both pose threats to “The Matrix.”  The Agents are computer programs who actually have no feelings or emotions, but they are written to identify—and swiftly eradicate—those seeking to escape the system and achieve self-determination.  Similarly, paramilitary death squads answering to NSD may not have any professed feelings of antithesis towards the Christian faith, but they were indoctrinated to automatically identify proponents of the social doctrine of the church for assassination.  Accordingly, enforcers of the NSD consistently and predictably persecuted Christians.  National Security Doctrine is, so to speak, an “app” for hatred of the faith.
NSD was developed in South America and pervaded such conflicts as the “Dirty War” in Argentina, and the internal conflicts in places like Chile, Brazil, Guatemala and El Salvador.  The Brazilian General Umberto Peregrino ticked off some of the principal components of NSD ideology to include: (1) the belief that the society is mired in a “total war” that permeates and underlies a particular society (even if, like in “The Matrix,” the surface appearance seems peaceful or normal); (2) a conviction that the military must take over the conduct of all national affairs until a solution is reached (like the “Agents” in “The Matrix”); and (3) the requirement that there be an “intransigent subordination of the basic activities of the nation to its security” (ie, individual freedom comes second—if at all) [Bruneau, The Church in Brazil: The Politics of Religion, 59.]  In its ultimate manifestation, NSD seeks to supplant religion as the ultimate absolute truth.  In the words of Gen. Golbery do Couto e Silva, the father of Brazilian NSD:
To be nationalist is to be always ready to give up any doctrine, any theory, any ideology, feelings, passions, ideals and values, as soon as they appear [to be] incompatible with the supreme loyalty, which is due to the nation above everything else.  Nationalism is, must be, and cannot be other than an Absolute One in itself.
[Comblin, The Church and the National Security State, 78.]  In his book, José Comblin states that National Security Doctrine offers a society that seems on the surface to be compatible with Christian principles.  Civil and military leaders co-opt religious language and symbolism in support of the nationalist project.  Additionally, they appeal to the religious sentiments of the population and the church by offering to grant or restore certain privileges to the church, such as the right to teach religion in public schools, to censor publications that defy certain church teachings, and to implement a moral code ostensibly based on Christian moral codes but which actually serves the state’s desire to closely regulate private behavior.  But the church recognizes the offer as a manipulative ploy that would subordinate Christian faith to NSD.  Comblin, 80-84.  Moreover, the church is forced into relatively unified and vigorous opposition, by brutalities and injustice of a scale and severity that leave it no alternative but to oppose NSD.
Accordingly, the Latin American bishops at Puebla denounced the manifestations of NSD throughout the continent: “In many instances the ideologies of National Security have helped to intensify the totalitarian or authoritarian character of governments based on the use of force, leading to the abuse of power and the violation of human rights. In some instances they presume to justify their positions with a subjective profession of Christian faith.”  [Puebla (1979) Doc. No. 49.]  For his part, Archbishop Romero condemned NSD as a new form of idolatry: “The omnipotence of these national security regimes, the total disrespect they display towards individuals and their rights, the total lack of ethical consideration shown in the means that are used to achieve their ends, turn national security into an idol, which, like the god Molech, demands the daily sacrifice of many victims in its name.” [4th Pastoral Letter, at p. 21.]
The scholarship regarding the existence and nature of NSD is well established; the Church has acknowledged it; and the extent to which NSD factored into the motives for assassinating Archbishop Romero has figured prominently in the analysis of «odium fidei» (hatred of the faith) in his beatification process.  The uncontroverted evidence—confirmed by a U.N. Truth Commission report, an OAS investigation, and the findings of a U.S. federal court—is that the Romero assassination was ordered by Maj. Roberto D’Aubuisson.  In El Salvador, no one has personified the ideology of NSD more than D’Aubuisson.  Like the Agents in “The Matrix,” D’Aubuisson claimed that a secret underworld lay concealed beneath the apparent reality, which could remain undetected even to those implicated in it.  The thing is, you can be a Communist without knowing you are a communist. You don’t have to know you are a Communist,” he was quoted as saying.  D’Aubuisson picked up such ideas at international conferences put on by NSD adherents in South America, including Chile and Argentina.
Also like the Agents in “The Matrix,” D’Aubuisson targeted Christians for persecution.  Among his most frequent targets, apart from openly avowed Marxists (who were few and far between in El Salvador), were Christian Democrats, Jesuits, and adherents of Liberation Theology—all of whom are affiliated in some way with the Christian faith.  Influenced by the Bolivian dictator Gen. Hugo Banzer, D’Aubuisson’s White Warrior Union began a terror campaign in El Salvador that dropped leaflets with the ominous slogan, “Be a Patriot, Kill a Priest.”  The terror syndicate issued its infamous “War Order No. 6,” demanding that all Jesuits leave the country or face execution.  Romero’s friend Rutilio Grande was the first victim of the campaign.
Like the Agents in “The Matrix,” D’Aubuisson believed that the reality of El Salvador was a deceitful hologram concealing a “total war” that was unknown even to its instigators, but obvious to him.  NSD singled out Christians as targets for elimination and provided the justification of a necessary purge.  In short, the NSD ideology effectuated hatred of the faith.