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When the Gospel Grows Feet: Rutilio Grande, SJ, and the Church of El Salvador; An Ecclesiology in Context

When the Gospel Grows Feet: Rutilio Grande, SJ, and the Church of El Salvador; An Ecclesiology in Context

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Overview

The Salvadoran priest Rutilio Grande, SJ, was killed in a hall of bullets on March 12, 1977, along with two passengers in the car he drove. The impact of this killing transformed his friend and archbishop, Oscar Romero, as well as the church in Latin America and throughout the world.

How could powerful forces within the overwhelmingly Catholic country of El Salvador execute a Roman Catholic priest and two innocent people in broad daylight in front of witnesses? Why would this same government go to the extreme of murdering thousands of lay Catholic ministers, dozens of priests, and even the nation's archbishop? Why would the government, and the oligarchy that supported it, believe it necessary to repress the church in such a brutal manner?

Thomas Kelly finds answers to these questions by exploring the church's identity and mission during the colonial period (1500 - 1820) and the transformative impact of Vatican II (1962 - 65) on the Latin American bishops. He considers Grande's life, formation, ministry, and death and his impact on Archbishop Romero. Finally, Kelly explains what Grande and the church of El Salvador can teach North American Catholics today.


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