Four US churchwomen remembered

Sunday, December 2, is the 27th anniversary of the murder of the four US churchwomen in El Salvador. The United States Senate passed Senate Resolution 381, sponsored by Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin among others, which commemorated their lives:
Whereas on December 2, 1980, four churchwomen from the United States, Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and Cleveland Lay Mission Team Member Jean Donovan, were violated and executed by members of the National Guard of El Salvador;

Whereas in 1980, Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford were working in the parish of the Church of San Juan Bautista in Chalatenango, El Salvador, providing food, transportation, and other assistance to refugees, and Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and Cleveland Lay Mission Team Member Jean Donovan were working in the parish of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in La Libertad, El Salvador, providing assistance and support to refugees and other victims of violence;

Whereas these four churchwomen from the United States dedicated their lives to working with the poor of El Salvador, especially women and children left homeless, displaced, and destitute by the civil war in El Salvador;


Whereas December 2, 2007, marks the 27th anniversary of the deaths of these four spiritual, courageous, and generous churchwomen from the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) remembers and commemorates the lives and work of Sisters Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, and Dorothy Kazel and lay missionary Jean Donovan;

(2) extends sympathy and support for the families, friends, and religious communities of these four churchwomen from the United States;

(3) continues to find inspiration in the lives and work of these four churchwomen from the United States;

(4) calls upon the people of the United States and religious congregations to participate in local, national, and international events commemorating the 27th anniversary of the martyrdom of these four churchwomen from the United States;

(5) recognizes that while progress has been made in El Salvador during the post-civil war period, the work begun by these four churchwomen from the United States remains unfinished and social and economic hardships persist among many sectors of El Salvador society; and

(6) calls upon the President, the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the heads of other United States Government agencies to continue to support and collaborate with the Government of El Salvador and with private sector, nongovernmental, regional, international, and religious organizations in their efforts to reduce poverty and hunger and to promote educational opportunity, health care, and social equity for the people of El Salvador.


Anonymous said…
You know Tim, that after 25 years since these horrendous crimes against humanity happened in El Salvador(The Nuns, Romero, El Mozote, The Jesuist, etc), Arena and Tony Saca are actually proud of ther accomplishments in their crusade against "comunism". They are still the same blind money driven idiots, they don't see the human suffering in El Salvador. Their government slogan is "A government with a human sense".
Don't forget that just one year ago, Tony Saca and his ARENA congress tried to honor death squad leader and creator, Roberto D'aubuisson "Hijo Meritisimo de El Salvador".
Tell that to the families of the slained Mariknoll nuns.
Qiuvo said…
These women are heroes and martyrs. They died while in the service of the poor, destitute, and marginalized. They were doing God's work. I have a huge amount of respect for missionaries and anybody who gives of themselves to those less fortunate. God bless their families and may they always be remembered for the heroes they are.
Carlos X. said…
The murder of the church-women was an execrable crime. It was terrorism. It was intended to, and did, instill terror throughout those who were supporting social change in El Salvador. Of course, it also provoked horror and shocked the conscience of the western world. It was a crime against humanity. It is one thing to kill your opponents during a time of war -- it is quite another to rape women who have taken sacred vows of chastity, attacking their spirits and violating their religion. It was the premeditated murder (and cover up of the murder) of defenseless civilians, three of them old women, who had put their lives at risk to stand by a civilian population under assault. It was, dare we say, a martyrdom. These women were raped and slaughtered because fascist militarists reviled their religious practices, founded on core Gospel virtues, as insurrectional and subversive, and their hatred of the women's Evangelical zeal produced an irrisistible blood thirst. It is necessary to emphasize these poignant truths because the crimes, like some many other extraordinary violations of human rights and human lives, have evaded justice after all these years, thanks to the ARENA Amnesty Law of 1993.
El-Visitador said…
«the ARENA Amnesty Law of 1993»

Uh uh.

A plain law which can be revoked at any time by simple majority.

Been checking the Assembly files to see how many times in the last 14 years the FMLN has presented legislation to revoke this law. Let's see:

Zero. ¡Ahh!

Sorry, no cheap political points for you today. I seem to recall the FMLN butchered and tortured a bunch of people from 1971 and onwards, and they would not want to be prosecuted for that.
Carlos X. said…
Actually, Visitador, I was not looking for cheap political points, only for justice, including for the victims of FMLN atrocities like the ones you cite. According to the OAS, "President Alfredo Cristiani [ARENA] announced a general amnesty" and it was "passed by the Conservative Party" [ARENA] despite the fact that it "came under heavy attack from members of grassroots organizations both within and outside Congress." (1994 OAS Country Report.) Most recently, Visitador, on February 11, 2004, Amnesty International called on ALL parties to abolish the General Amnesty Law (formally called Ley de Amnistía General para la Consolidación de la Paz). The ARENA presidents, most notably, president Saca, have been the most stalwart defenders of the law as a non-negotiable staple of the post-bellum reconciliation process. Others have called for a more justice and truth-oriented approach, like South Africa's.
Anonymous said…
Is this gentleman "el-visitador" for real?, I've been reading his comments and he always sounds bitter anytime someone gives an opinnion on the ARENA government that is not to his liking.
Democracy begins with me and you,
Anonymous said…
So from the comment from
el-visitor, it would appear that person totally supports the rape and murder of these four women, on the grounds that their peaceful christian lives were somehow threatening the government and military of ES.
Carlos X. said…
El Visitador is an intelligent, often articulate poster, which is why I took his comments seriously, and try to respond to them with facts. I do NOT believe that he supports the murder and rape of the women. I think he thought I was trying to slip in a political score along with my comments, and he called me on it. However, like you, I do believe that this was a case where the shoe fits and ARENA is on the wrong side of the issue of the general amnesty, and their deafening silence on these human rights abuses, along with D'Aubuisson's heavy hand in most of them, leaves them in a very unfortunate spot. The way out is easy: rebuke and renounce the past, and get right with history.
El-Visitador said…
« it would appear that person totally supports the rape and murder of these four women, »

Reading comprehension issues, have you?

All I said is that never has any law ever been introduced in the Assembly to revoke the inmunity currently granted to people who may have ordered the murder of the nuns.

Not by the FMLN that started kidnapping, torturing, and murdering innocent civilians in February 1971, and not by ARENA, and not by the Christian Democrats, and certainly not PCN.
Anonymous said…
Excuse me, Visitador, a little even handedness. Your statement would not be at all objectionable to me if you simply filled in some of the blanks:

"Not by the FMLN that started kidnapping, torturing, and murdering innocent civilians in February 1971, and not by ARENA, [whose founder is accused of ___] and not by the Christian Democrats, and certainly not PCN [who is accused of ___]"

I would add that never has any law been introduced to investigate the most serious human rights violations that are alleged, especially not by those who claim that they never occurred.