Following a thread from Pinter’s speech.
On December 14th. Fr. Jon Cortina, S.J. died.
“On the night of November 16, 1989, twenty six members of the Salvadoran militaryâ€”nineteen of whom were trained at the U.S. Army School of the Americasâ€” raided the Jesuit residence at the UCA, pulled Fr. Cortina’s six Jesuit brothers and two women co-workers from their beds, and brutally murdered them in front of the rectory. At the time of this massacre, the Jesuits were considered dangerous to the repressive Salvadoran government because they defended the rights of the poor and relentlessly worked to liberate those whom the military systematically killed and oppressed.
Fr. Cortina survived the massacre of the Jesuits only because he was with the people in the rural areas of the province of Chalatenango on that night. As he drove back to San Salvador the next morning, he heard the news of the Jesuits on the radio, and with them, his own name listed among the dead. He abruptly stopped his truck, got out, and felt his chest to make sure that what he heard was not true. After pausing and realizing that his family was gone, Cortina recommitted himself to the poor to carry on the memory of his slain brothers.”
A friend who was in Central America at this time writes: “When I was up in Chalatenango in the 80s and early 90s, we would see him periodically. After he narrowly escaped being hacked to death at the UCA, the army was always looking for convenient ways to kill him. I used to love just watching him talk to people. He’d reach out and lightly touch a hand or a shoulder as he talked, joked, smoked. He had none of that cloying priestly fatherliness but rather invested his energy in the stuff that matters, like rebuilding infrastructure, driving people here and there, getting people out of prison, helping children find their families. Plus he was funny, and dear. I always wanted to see him again…….
This is the kind of line he could deliver absolutely straight.
“Soy fanático del Atletic de Bilbao por mandato divino. Es el único equipo perfecto que Dios ha creado, al resto lo llenó de extranjeros” “
More than can be said for the present pope.