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There is no 'right' against the mass of the people! (What we need is) a
material world for all, without borders and without frontiers. (What we need
is) a common table covered with broad linen; a table that is for everybody like
this Eucharist. (What we need are) chairs for everybody.
Fr Rutilio Grande, homily of 13 February 1977. El Salvador. (My
The mere existence of socio-sexual activists does not guarantee a radical and
profoundly subversive thinking, but it makes it possible, which in itself is no
small thing to do.
Susana Rostagnol (2004:43)
Chairs for everybody: on inclusivity
Only a few weeks after giving what was going to be his last public homily, Father
Rutilio Grande was assassinated by paramilitary troops in his native land, El
Salvador. I am beginning this reflection on liberation theology and sexuality by
paying homage to him and to the many Christian martyrs from Latin America in the
twentieth century, as a way to ground my reflections on Liberation Theology in the
twenty-first century. This is a debt of love and gratitude that we have for those
pioneers who liberated the Gospel in that continent during the difficult political
climate of the 1970s.
It is tempting to think that two different projects, theological as well as
political, were symbolically confronted in Father Grande’s assassination.
One was the project of liberation theology, the project of the alternative Kingdom
and integral salvation from private and structural sins such as hunger and
political persecution. The other was the hegemonic project from the dictatorial
regimes which flourished during the Cold War, which curiously mixed the national
security doctrine with their own theological discourses.
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