July 7, 1997
Most Reverend Samuel Ruíz García
Bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas
Calle 20 de Noviembre, n.1
29000 San Cristóbal de Las Casas
FAX: (52 967) 83-136
Dear Bishop Ruíz,
I write as Chairman of our United States Bishops' Committee on International Policy to express appreciation for the statement issued by you and the Pastoral Team of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 21 June. It is a clear and forceful account of the many tragic events that have been occuring, and still occur, in your diocese, and a stirring call to others, both to learn what is happening in Chiapas and to do whatever is possible to bring about the needed changes there.
The many attacks, both verbal and even physical, against you and the priests, religious and catechists of the diocese, the unjust arrests and expulsion of priests, the constant threats and hostility directed against the Diocese of San Cristóbal add up, as you have stated, to "a true persecution of the Church."
I want to assure you, Bishop Vera, and all the faithful of your diocese that, through your efforts, we do hear the cry of the poor in Chiapas, and that we will continue to do what lies within our power to call attention to the intolerable situation and to press for positive change. Be assured also of our continued unity in prayer.
With every good wish, I am
Fraternally yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Theodore E. McCarrick
Archbishop of Newark
Chairman, USCC Committee
on International Policy