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Priest Under Fire : Padre David Rodriguez, the Catholic Church, and El Salvador's Revolutionary Movement
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“Documents Rodriguez’s life—an important contribution in and of itself—and shows how religiously grounded leaders like Rodriguez were crucial to the success of revolutionary movements.”—Anna Peterson, coeditor ofChristianity, Social Change, and Globalization in the Americas “Sánchez challenges fellow specialists by introducing new evidence and placing Father David in the context of social-movement scholarship.”—Erik Ching, author ofAuthoritarian El Salvador David Rodriguez, or Padre David as he is known throughout El Salvador, is a diocesan priest who followed the Second Vatican Council’s doctrinal mandate to advocate for the poor and oppressed. Along with other progressive clergy committed to liberation theology, Padre David helped drive forward the country’s popular movement. In the 1970s, Padre David joined the largest guerilla organization in El Salvador, the FPL (Popular Liberation Forces). At first, he supported the FPL clandestinely, helping to organize Christian Base Communities, autonomous religious groups dedicated to spreading liberationist ideas and to giving the Salvadoran poor a clear understanding of why their lives were so difficult. By the end of the twelve-year civil war, he was head of the FPL’s finance committee. He traveled to the United States, Europe, and across Latin America raising funds for the movement and its resulting political party, the FMLN (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front).In Priest Under Fire, Peter Sánchez tells the story of how one priest joined a movement to help his people and his country. He provides much-needed insight into both the Salvadoran civil war and the Catholic Church–influenced grassroots political movements, showing that they continue to inform Latin America today.