Why did Kenneth Freed travel all the way to Perquin, or as he so dramatically puts it, to "the capital of a liberated zone" in El Salvador, in order to interview Fathers Rogelio Ponseele and Esteban Velazquez? He could have written his sensational "The Cross and the Gun" (World Report, Oct. 9) by simply staying in his hotel room and reading Paul Sigmund's "Liberation Theology at the Crossroads," which he quotes so freely.
Rather than focus in any significant way on the ministry of these two men, it seems that Freed simply wanted to experience the local color of being in a war zone, watching the priests speak from under an FMLN banner in the town square, and asking himself if the young guerrillas present ". . . would fully understand all the arguments of liberation theology." (It should be pointed out also that neither Rogelio Ponseele nor Gustavo Gutierrez are Jesuits.)
Ponseele has been ministering in Morazan province for 10 years, celebrating the liturgy, hearing confessions, baptizing, burying the dead and, yes, preaching that the conditions under which most Salvadorans live should not in any way be considered "God's will." There are thousands of civilians in that zone, people who have been displaced by the war, refugees who have recently returned from camps in Honduras and others who have remained in their homes in spite of the war raging around them.