January 26, 1989
His Eminence Juan Francisco Cardinal Fresno
Archbishop of Santiago
Erasmo Escala 1822
The Archdiocese of Santiago has for years enjoyed a well-deserved reputation as a preeminent exemplar of the Church's concern for human rights. Few organizations anywhere can match the work of defending the rights and dignity of the human person, especially of the poor and helpless, that is carried on by your Vicariate of Solidarity. It must be a source of great pastoral satisfaction to you and, indeed, a matter of pride for many of the people of your great nation.
I understand that, at the present time, the Vicariate of Solidarity is experiencing a most serious threat to its continued effectiveness and integrity. My purpose in writing now is to express to you our ecclesial solidarity with you and your brother bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Chile in your support of the actions and statements of the Vicariate of Solidarity. With you, we too are certain that the Vicariate has acted within the criteria of the Gospel and according to the clear and unchanging norms of Christian ethics.
We applaud your steadfastness and assure you of our fervent prayers that the Vicariate of Solidarity may continue unimpeded its important evangelical witness.
Fraternally in Christ,
Most Reverend John L. May
Archbishop of St. Louis