Rother is deserving of Catholic sainthood
Gifts of good news during the Christmas season come from the Catholic Church, which is considering conferring the martyr’s honor on The Rev. Stanley Rother.
However, Rother’s sainthood possibility exposes a continual ugliness in American foreign policy, the “dark side” as former Vice President Dick Cheney called it. Rother was a parish priest in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, from 1968 until he was murdered by Guatemala’s right-wing, U.S.-supported death squads in 1981. The CIA’s School of the Americas name change to today’s Western Hemisphere Institute of Security Cooperation smells just as rotten because it still teaches torture practices to U.S.-trained foreign military and paramilitary forces.
President-elect Donald Trump’s penchant for waterboarding, “we should go much stronger than waterboarding,” sheds the light of Christmas on our nation’s choice for leadership, like Herod and the “slaughter of the innocents.” Rother’s crime against the state was to organize farming cooperatives for the indigenous Mayan, often brutally treated by their government.
The church’s consideration of sainthood to such a deserving American is a way of putting the “Christ” back into Christmas.