Monday, Nov. 16 marked the 20th anniversary of the murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador. The massacre took place in 1989 and was perpetrated by members of an army battalion during El Salvador's civil war.
Speaking on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, New York said that the USCCB joins in “commemorating the lives and the work of the six Jesuits and their collaborators.”
Bishop Hubbard, Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on International Justice and Peace, has also thanked the members of Congress who have sponsored and co-sponsored House and Senate resolutions (H.R. 761 and S. 321) which have honored the lives of the six priests.
In his letter to Congress, Bishop Hubbard quoted Pope Benedict XVI's recent encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate,” saying, “charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine … (and) gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbor.”
The Bishop continued by saying that “it is precisely this kind of charity that was exemplified by the Jesuits in El Salvador - a commitment to a more just and peaceful society where the human needs and rights of people are acknowledged and respected.”
Bishop Hubbard concluded that “their legacy continues to be embodied in the many women and men who still seek a more just, peaceful and secure world where the life and dignity of all persons is defended.”