Letter to Archbishop Rivera on UCA Killings, November 16, 1989
Letter to Archbishop Rivera from Archbishop Pilarczyk
November 16, 1989
On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of the United States I offer our prayers and support at this time of suffering, violence and loss for the Church and people of El Salvador.
Word has just reached us of the shocking brutal murders of six Jesuit priests affiliated with the University of Central America and their cook and her daughter. This horrible crime is another tragic example of the bloody violence and deadly denial of human rights that haunts El Salvador. At this time of increased war and new attacks on human rights we pledge our continued solidarity. The perpetrators of these and similar crimes must be brought to justice and those who attack the lives of innocent persons must be stopped.
We stand with you in your call for peace instead of conflict, dialogue in place of violence and your consistent defense of human life, human dignity and human rights. All the parties to the conflict must hear and heed your call to turn from violence, conflict and war to the essential process of dialogue, negotiation and peace.
In standing for justice, peace and reconciliation, the bishops of El Salvador are an example of pastors living the Gospel in a difficult and tragic situation. We join with you in the hope that the violence and conflict will give way to genuine dialogue, full respect for human rights and the pursuit of a just and peaceful future for El Salvador. We have once again called on the U.S. Government to do all it can to support human rights, to assist in bringing those who commit these crimes to justice and to actively and effectively support your efforts to replace violence with dialogue. May the Prince of Peace be with you in this time of war and loss. May His Mother Mary protect and watch over you and your people in the midst of suffering. May your call for peace, justice and reconciliation guide the future path of your nation.