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Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis$
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John Early

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813040134

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813040134.001.0001

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Two Pastoral Workers Evolve

Two Pastoral Workers Evolve

(p.315) 22 Two Pastoral Workers Evolve
Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

John D. Early

University Press of Florida

This chapter traces the evolution of the worldviews of two members of the Maryknoll congregation in Guatemala, a priest, Thomas Melville, and a nun, Marian Peter. They began as ardent Tridentine Catholics. The nun initiated catechetical and later consciousness-raising programs about the Maya crisis for upper- and middle-class Guatemalans. The priest embarked on a campaign of destroying sacred Maya objects. As a result of their encounters with the Maya crisis, they became Liberation Catholics. Frustrated in their attempts to relieve the crisis due to governmental corruption and inefficiency and encouraged by Marxist leftists, they opted for an armed insurrection as the only solution to Guatemalan structural injustice. During their joint efforts, they fell in love, left the Maryknoll congregation and married. Later the Melvilles joined the Catonsville Nine in a public protest against United States policy in Central America.

Keywords:   worldview evolution, Tridentine Catholicism, Catholic Action, Liberation Catholicism, Thomas Melville, Marjorie Melville, Maryknoll

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