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American conservatives blame religious orders such as the Jesuits for stirring up trouble among native populations in the name of liberation theology. The religious orders have thus won the enmity of the military, responsible for the deaths of numerous priests and nuns, who thus in the eyes of the people become martyrs. A special target has been the Maryknolls, some of whom themselves took up arms, being condemned by the Pope and landing the Berrigan brothers in jail. Despite this, Edith Coliver, long associated with the Asia Foundation, praises them, and we must recognize that the Berrigan case should not be used to damn the whole order. She says:
Thanks for praising the Maryknolls. In the Philippine South, they were the buffers between Marcos' national police forces and the villagers whom they accused of being communist. They did this selflessly and courageously, despite great dangers to themselves.
My question: What was their relationship with the Moros, the Muslim guerrillas fighting the Philippine government? Or with the rural communist movement?
Ronald Hilton - 10/31/99