Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

As Rome Accuses Ruiz, 1,000 Groups Back Him

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

As Rome Accuses Ruiz, 1,000 Groups Back Him

Article excerpt

MEXICO CITY -- Jose Alvarez Icaza, director of the National Center for Social Communication and himself a leading liberation theologian, Dec. 13 revealed a list of more than 1,000 Mexican and international groups that have publicly supported Samuel Ruiz Garcia, the embattled bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, during the past two months.

The list includes both secular and religious groups from Mexico, most Latin American countries, Europe, North America and Asia. Noteworthy was the almost unanimous support from the Mexican secular press.

Alvarez also distributed buttons and leaflets from a grassroots Mexican effort to have Ruiz nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize because of his efforts to protect the human rights of indigenous people. The "Tatic Samuel (Our Father Samuel) for the Nobel Peace Prize" buttons have begun to appear all over Mexico.

In an interview with NCR, Alvarez also revealed that two of Latin America's leading churchmen, Cardinals Ernesto Corripio Ahumada of Mexico City and Paulo Evaristo Arns of Sao Paul, Brazil, have offered to accompany Ruiz if he goes to Rome to defend himself against charges that he has reduced the gospel to purely social concerns. Kathy and Javier Vargas, close personal friends of Ruiz, have also confirmed this offer.

On Nov. 11, Bishop Javier Lozano Barragan of Zacatecas, president of the doctrinal commission of the Mexican bishops' conference, made public in a press conference parts of the letter from Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, head of the Congregation for Bishops, to the papal nuncio in Mexico, Archbishop Girolamo Prigione, demanding Ruiz's resignation. …

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