Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jon Sobrino receives honorary doctorate from the University of Deusto

El Mundo

Theologian Jon Sobrino has defended the rights of "the crucified peoples", who anonymously suffer from poverty, lack of freedom and injustice in a "capitalist world based on egoism."

Speaking after being awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Deusto, Jon Sobrino, dedicated the honor he received to his six colleagues from the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), among whom was its rector Ignacio Ellacuría, and who were murdered in 1989 by the Salvadoran military along with two women.

These killings show, on the Day which commemorates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "the expression of an inhuman world," denounced Sobrino.

The six Jesuits who were shot, "were murdered precisely for defending the crucified peoples" and demanding justice for them, and the two women who died with them represented "the innocence of those who have done nothing to deserve death," he reflected.

That mother and daughter who worked in the UCA, he argued, symbolized those who, like so many millions of people today who are poor and "bear the sin" of the injustice of a world that "annihilates them in life" and who after "an entire lifetime of suffering," die "cruelly and anonymously".

Therefore, Sobrino has claimed those two women as the personification of the most radical violation of human rights, that "reproduces Christ's Passion."

Sobrino reported that "among the perpetrators who ordered these executions, there were Christians and Democrats" so he said "I hope the Church and democracies are falling over themselves to give dignity to the majority who have borne the cross, as Christ did."

Thus, he defended "the utopia of the civilization of poverty" for which his companion Ellacuría advocated, to "try to overcome the present civilization of wealth", which is "the root of the injustice of this world, based in the accumulation of capital."

"A civilization of selfishness" exported "in the tradition of the United States" and that Sobrino has rejected, calling for the "universal satisfaction of basic needs as the principle of development and growth in shared solidarity."

He also warned of the fallacy of the "subliminal" use of the term "globalization" used from the United States to define an apparently equidistant global process, "when in reality that equidistance does not exist because the world is divided into oppressors and oppressed."

The Basque theologian called for reversing this situation and defending the rights of the "crucified peoples" but wondered who is defending these millions of anonymous poor around the globe today and "who is risking taking them down from the Cross", to confront the most powerful people and countries.

Jon Sobrino was born in Barcelona during the Civil War, but soon moved to live in Bilbao where he grew up and became a novice in the Society of Jesus.

In 1957 he was transferred to El Salvador and, after studying Philosophy, Masters degrees in Civil Engineering and Theology at prestigious universities in the United States and Germany, he continued his work in Latin America to date.

A collaborator with Monseñor Romero until his assassination, he tried to keep his voice alive, and has been a great promoter of liberation theology in his enormous work which includes more than thirty books, hundreds of articles and lectures in which the poor and disadvantaged are always his protagonists.

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