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Don’t Applaud for Him, Argentina: Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) and the Dirty War

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here.

COMMENT: With the selec­tion of the first Pope from the Amer­i­c­as (Fran­cis, for­mer­ly Car­di­nal Bergoglio), media out­lets have indulged in the pre­dictable hagiogra­phies con­cern­ing his back­ground.

Although he is from Argenti­na, his selec­tion should not be viewed as a break from the past, but rather a con­tin­u­a­tion of the grim, pro-fas­cist pol­i­tics of the Vat­i­can.

The scan­dal-rid­den Vat­i­can Bank (The IOR) was a prin­ci­pal vehi­cle for the laun­der­ing of Nazi mon­ey, as we saw in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #532. Much of that finan­cial dias­po­ra involved the mov­ing of monies to Argenti­na.

The Argentine/Vatican con­nec­tion also fig­ures promi­nent­ly in the unsa­vory sto­ry of the rat­lines, the Vat­i­can net­works which enabled Nazi war crim­i­nals to escape to Argenti­na (among oth­er places). (For back­ground on the rat­lines, exam­ine AFA #‘s 17, 19 among oth­er pro­grams.)

To flesh out under­stand­ing of the sig­nif­i­cance of the Argentine/Nazi con­nec­tion, we rec­om­mend a num­ber of books avail­able for down­load on this web­site, includ­ing Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile, The Nazis Go Under­ground and Falange: The Secret Axis Army in the Amer­i­c­as.

A key ele­ment of com­mon­al­i­ty between the fas­cist pol­i­tics of the Vat­i­can and those of Argenti­na con­cerns the P‑2 Lodge, a cryp­to-fas­cist gov­ern­ment that vir­tu­al­ly ran Italy for years and was inex­tri­ca­bly-linked with the Vat­i­can Bank for much of that time. 

In addi­tion to its Ital­ian branch, the P‑2 Lodge also had an impor­tant chap­ter in Argenti­na, with jun­ta mem­bers Emilio Massera, Car­los Suarez Mason and Jorge Videla being mem­bers. It was this jun­ta that pros­e­cut­ed the Dirty War in the 1970’s and ’80’s, with which Car­di­nal Bergoglio was com­plic­it. (For more about the P‑2, includ­ing its Argen­tine branch, see AFA #‘s 18, 19.)

Bergoglio col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Argen­tine P‑2 per­pe­tra­tors of the Dirty War. 

There is a long, fas­ci­nat­ing, online excerpt from Hora­cioVer­b­itzky’s book in which he details the evo­lu­tion of the Catholic fas­cist doc­trine that man­i­fest­ed in the hor­rors of the Naval Mechan­ics School.

That evo­lu­tion was part and par­cel to what Hen­rik Kruger described as the Inter­na­tion­al Fascista in THE GREAT HEROIN COUP. It is described at length in AFA #19.

Ver­b­itzky makes seri­ous charges against Bergoglio, accus­ing him of com­plic­i­ty in the dirty war.

Ver­b­itzky relates that one of the priests arrest­ed and tor­tured with the com­plic­i­ty of Bergoglio is of the opin­ion that Bergoglio may very well have assist­ed in his “inter­ro­ga­tion”!

It would be fool­ish to expect mean­ing­ful reform from one with his back­ground.

“Fran­cis Is First Pope from the Amer­i­c­as” by Bri­an Mur­phy and Michael War­ren [AP]; Yahoo News; 3/13/2013.

EXCERPT: . . . . Bergoglio also was accused of turn­ing his back on a fam­i­ly that lost five rel­a­tives to state ter­ror, includ­ing a young woman who was 5‑months’ preg­nant before she was kid­napped and killed in 1977. The De la Cuadra fam­i­ly appealed to the leader of the Jesuits in Rome, who urged Bergoglio to help them; Bergoglio then assigned a mon­sign­or to the case. Months passed before the mon­sign­or came back with a writ­ten note from a colonel: It revealed that the woman had giv­en birth in cap­tiv­i­ty to a girl who was giv­en to a fam­i­ly “too impor­tant” for the adop­tion to be reversed.

Despite this writ­ten evi­dence in a case he was per­son­al­ly involved with, Bergoglio tes­ti­fied in 2010 that he did­n’t know about any stolen babies until well after the dic­ta­tor­ship was over.

“Bergoglio has a very cow­ard­ly atti­tude when it comes to some­thing so ter­ri­ble as the theft of babies. He says he did­n’t know any­thing about it until 1985,” said the baby’s aunt, Estela de la Cuadra, whose moth­er Ali­cia co-found­ed the Grand­moth­ers of the Plaza de Mayo in 1977 in hopes of iden­ti­fy­ing these babies. “He does­n’t face this real­i­ty and it does­n’t both­er him. The ques­tion is how to save his name, save him­self. But he can’t keep these alle­ga­tions from reach­ing the pub­lic. The peo­ple know how he is.” . . .

“Pope Fran­cis’ Jun­ta Past: Argen­tine Jour­nal­ist on New Pontiff’s Ties to Abduc­tion of Jesuit Priests”; Democ­ra­cy Now; 3/14/2013.

EXCERPT:. . . .HORACIO VERBITSKY: Of course. He was accused by two Jesuit priests of hav­ing sur­ren­dered them to the mil­i­tary. They were a group of Jesuits that were under Bergoglio’s direc­tion. He was the provin­cial supe­ri­or of the order in Argenti­na, being very, very young. He was the younger provin­cial Jesuit in his­to­ry; at 36 years, he was provin­cial. Dur­ing a peri­od of great polit­i­cal activ­i­ty in the Jesuits’ com­pa­ny, he stim­u­lat­ed the social work of the Jesuits. But when the mil­i­tary coup over­throw the Isabel Perón gov­ern­ment, he was in touch with the mil­i­tary that oust­ed this gov­ern­ment and asked the Jesuits to stop their social work. And when they refused to do it, he stopped pro­tect­ing them, and he let the mil­i­tary know that they were not more inside the pro­tec­tion of the Jesuits’ com­pa­ny, and they were kid­napped. And they accuse him for this deed. He denies this. . . .

. . . .  But dur­ing the research for one of my books, I found doc­u­ments in the archive of the for­eign rela­tions min­is­ter in Argenti­na, which, from my under­stand­ing, gave an end to the debate and show the dou­ble stan­dard that Bergoglio used. The first doc­u­ment is a note in which Bergoglio asked the min­istry to—the renew­al of the pass­port of one of these two Jesuits that, after his releas­ing, was liv­ing in Ger­many, ask­ing that the pass­port was renewed with­out neces­si­ty of this priest com­ing back to Argenti­na. The sec­ond doc­u­ment is a note from the offi­cer that received the peti­tion rec­om­mend­ing to his supe­ri­or, the min­is­ter, the refusal of the renew­al of the pass­port. And the third doc­u­ment is a note from the same offi­cer telling that these priests have links with subversion—that was the name that the mil­i­tary gave to all the peo­ple involved in oppo­si­tion to the gov­ern­ment, polit­i­cal or armed oppo­si­tion to the military—and that he was jailed in the mechan­ics school of the navy, and say­ing that this infor­ma­tion was pro­vid­ed to the offi­cer by Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio, provin­cial supe­ri­or of the Jesuit com­pa­ny. This means, to my under­stand­ing, a dou­ble stan­dard. He asked the pass­port giv­en to the priest in a for­mal note with his sig­na­ture, but under the table he said the oppo­site and repeat­ed the accu­sa­tions that pro­duced the kid­nap­ping of these priests.

AMY GOODMAN: And these priests—can you explain, Hora­cio, what hap­pened to these two priests, Orlan­do Yorio and Fran­cis­co Jal­ics?

HORACIO VERBITSKY: Yes. Orlan­do, after his releas­ing, went to Rome.

AMY GOODMAN: How were they found?


AMY GOODMAN: How were they found? In what con­di­tion were they? What had hap­pened to them?

HORACIO VERBITSKY: Well, he was released—both of them were released, drugged, con­fused, trans­port­ed by heli­copter to—in the out­skirts of Buenos Aires, were aban­doned, asleep by drugs, in very bad con­di­tion. They were tor­tured. They were inter­ro­gat­ed. One of the inter­roga­tors had exter­nal­ly know­ings about the­o­log­i­cal ques­tions, that induced one of them, Orlan­do Yorio, to think that their own provin­cial, Bergoglio, had been involved in this inter­roga­to­ry.
AMY GOODMAN: He said that—he said that Bergoglio him­self had been part of the—his own inter­ro­ga­tion, this Jesuit priest?

HORACIO VERBITSKY: He told me that he had the impres­sion their own provin­cial, Bergoglio, was present dur­ing the inter­roga­to­ry, which one of the inter­roga­tors had exter­nal­ly knowl­edge of the­o­log­i­cal ques­tions. . . .


11 comments for “Don’t Applaud for Him, Argentina: Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) and the Dirty War”

  1. Redstate.com founder and cable news con­trib­u­tor Erick Erick­son’s take on the selec­tion of the new Pope:

    That left­ies are accus­ing the new pope of hand­ing over left­ies to the right wing jun­ta for exe­cu­tion makes me adore the new pope.

    Yep, he went there.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 13, 2013, 6:44 pm
  2. Thanks to Dave & Pter­rafractyl for the time­ly & use­ful links which I had­n’t seen.

    Com­ment: A repul­sive choice for pope, all the more reveal­ing for its sug­ges­tion of the intran­si­gence & sense of impuni­ty which must have been shared by the Car­di­nals, for them to fail to dis­qual­i­fy Bergoglio on the basis of the hint of accu­sa­tions alone.

    Note his clas­sic GOP play­book response to the accu­sa­tions in the sto­ry below: “Old news”. This is such a clas­sic Reagan/Bush/Dubya boil­er­plate reac­tion, it’s laugh­able, but reveal­ing also in its inap­pro­pri­ate indif­fer­ence to the accu­sa­tion’s top­ic.

    More dis­turb­ing is Bergoglio’s rep­u­ta­tion for integri­ty via his aus­tere lifestyle. Imag­ine how much he will bril­liant­ly & suc­cess­ful­ly divide the poor­est (and divide the “pro­gres­sive Left”) as he pro­motes his Moth­er Tere­sa image while sup­port­ing the glob­al impo­si­tion of world fas­cism & the in-progress build­ing of its infra­struc­ture: He may well be beloved.


    Pope Fran­cis Kid­nap­ping Con­tro­ver­sy: Jorge Mario Bergoglio Accused [By His Own Priest] Of Involve­ment In 1976 Abduc­tions

    Post­ed: 03/13/2013 6:20 pm EDT

    The elec­tion of Pope Fran­cis, pre­vi­ous­ly Car­di­nal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has resur­faced a decades-old con­tro­ver­sy sur­round­ing the kid­nap­pings of two Jesuit priests.

    Bergoglio was a high-rank­ing offi­cial in the Soci­ety of Jesus of Argenti­na when a mil­i­tary jun­ta was installed in the South Amer­i­can coun­try in 1976. Accord­ing to the Los Ange­les Times, priests Orlan­do Yorio and Fran­cis­co Jal­ics were kid­napped in May of that year by the navy. “They sur­faced five months lat­er, drugged and semi­nude, in a field,” the Times report­ed. A 2005 law­suit accused Bergoglio of unspec­i­fied involve­ment in the abduc­tions. Reuters explains that “the mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment secret­ly jailed [Yorio and Jal­ics] for their work in poor neigh­bor­hoods.”

    A spokesman for Bergoglio called the claims “old slan­der.”

    Reuters has more details:

    Accord­ing to “The Silence,” a book writ­ten by jour­nal­ist Hora­cio Ver­bit­sky, Bergoglio with­drew his order’s pro­tec­tion of the two men after they refused to quit vis­it­ing the slums, which ulti­mate­ly paved the way for their cap­ture.
    Ver­bit­sky’s book is based on state­ments by Orlan­do Yorio, one of the kid­napped Jesuits, before he died of nat­ur­al caus­es in 2000. Both of the abduct­ed cler­gy­men sur­vived five months of impris­on­ment.

    “His­to­ry con­demns him. It shows him to be opposed to all inno­va­tion in the Church and above all, dur­ing the dic­ta­tor­ship, it shows he was very cozy with the mil­i­tary,” For­tu­na­to Malli­mac­ci, the for­mer dean of social sci­ences at the Uni­ver­si­dad de Buenos Aires, once said.

    Those who defend Bergoglio say there is no proof behind these claims and, on the con­trary, they say the priest helped many dis­si­dents escape dur­ing the mil­i­tary jun­ta’s rule.

    Per the Asso­ci­at­ed Press, “Yorio accused Bergoglio of effec­tive­ly hand­ing them over to the death squads by declin­ing to tell the regime that he endorsed their work. Jal­ics refused to dis­cuss it after mov­ing into seclu­sion in a Ger­man monastery.” Bergoglio dis­cussed the inci­dent with Ser­gio Rubin, his autho­rized biog­ra­ph­er.

    More from AP:

    Both men were freed after Bergoglio took extra­or­di­nary, behind-the-scenes action to save them – includ­ing per­suad­ing dic­ta­tor Jorge Vide­la’s fam­i­ly priest to call in sick so that he could say Mass in the jun­ta lead­er’s home, where he pri­vate­ly appealed for mer­cy. His inter­ven­tion like­ly saved their lives, but Bergoglio nev­er shared the details until Rubin inter­viewed him for the 2010 biog­ra­phy.
    Bergoglio tes­ti­fied about the mat­ter in 2010 after twice refus­ing to appear in open court, but “his answers were eva­sive, human rights attor­ney Myr­i­am Breg­man said.”

    Posted by R. Wilson | March 13, 2013, 7:49 pm
  3. On the top­ic of the stolen chil­dren of mur­dered Left-wing dis­si­dents of the 1976 Argenti­na mil­i­tary coup, I’d appre­ci­ate any links detail­ing his role & the role of his pre­de­ces­sor.

    Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al, Uki Goni & oth­ers have doc­u­ment­ed the Catholic Church’s active par­tic­i­pa­tion in the scan­dal of the “stolen chil­dren” in Argenti­na dur­ing the dic­ta­tor­ship. The Bish­op of the dio­cese of Buenos Aires, Anto­nio Baseot­to, assist­ed in the traf­fick­ing of chil­dren who were stolen from dis­si­dent par­ents who were then mur­dered — includ­ing wait­ing for preg­nant women to give birth, then mur­der­ing the moth­ers imme­di­ate­ly after the birth & redis­trib­ut­ing the infants to mil­i­tary per­son­nel.

    Baseot­to report­ed­ly kept a list of the mur­dered, the chil­dren, and to whom they were dis­trib­uted (cita­tion need­ed, but I remem­ber pos­sess­ing an arti­cle about this once). Whether or not the list in ques­tion exists or exist­ed, Baseot­to was a par­tic­i­pant in legit­imiz­ing the redis­tri­b­u­tion of these chil­dren via bap­tismal reg­is­tra­tion.

    As a sub­se­quent prelate of the Buenos Aires dio­cese, the new pope had an oblig­a­tion to sim­ple jus­tice to inves­ti­gate Baseot­to, and to inves­ti­gate the pos­si­bil­i­ty of such a list. His pol­i­cy was appar­ent­ly no more than apol­o­gy. He was in a unique posi­tion to con­tribute to some redemp­tion for the Church’s crimes. He did not.

    The list in ques­tion seems to have no Eng­lish-lan­guage arti­cles about it. The Church itself issued an apol­o­gy for “fail­ing to lis­ten” (a pas­sive role implied for itself — i.e., a non-apol­o­gy apol­o­gy) dur­ing the coup and killings and redis­tri­b­u­tion of chil­dren.

    Posted by R. Wilson | March 13, 2013, 7:56 pm
  4. When I heard that he was from Argenti­na, I had the same thoughts as you did, to a tee. You read my mind. Right on the “mon­ey”, so to speak.

    Posted by Claude | March 13, 2013, 10:47 pm
  5. @R. Wil­son: The fact that this entire re-Pope­ing of the Vat­i­can is, in part, due to the pre­vi­ous Pope’s pro­tec­tion of pedophile priests. And every­one knew this fact before the Ratzinger got to where the big hat since one of the first things peo­ple talked about after Ratzinger was Poped was his role as the Vat­i­can’s pit­bull on the molesta­tion mat­ter. So that should prob­a­bly inure one to just about any fur­ther Vat­i­can crazi­ness. But it’s still kind of shocked that all those Car­di­nals that seem to want a “rebrand­ing” of the Vat­i­can decid­ed that the best choice was a guy that was guar­an­teed to start off his term with a “he said, he said” debate over whether or not the new Pope assist­ed a mil­i­tary jun­ta in kid­nap­ping the priests and steal­ing babies. Were there just a lot of unin­formed vot­ers in that Pop­elec­tion that are all like “OMG I can’t believ­er I vot­ed for that guy” or was this real­ly the best avail­able option?

    New pope tied up in Argenti­na’s ‘dirty war’ debate

    By By MICHAEL WARREN, Asso­ci­at­ed Press – 3/14/2013

    BUENOS AIRES, Argenti­na (AP) — It’s beyond dis­pute that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, like most oth­er Argen­tines, failed to open­ly con­front the 1976–1983 mil­i­tary jun­ta as it kid­napped and killed thou­sands of peo­ple in a “dirty war” to elim­i­nate left­ist oppo­nents.

    But human rights activists dif­fer on how much respon­si­bil­i­ty Pope Fran­cis per­son­al­ly deserves for the Argen­tine church’s dark his­to­ry of sup­port­ing the mur­der­ous dic­ta­tor­ship.

    The new pope’s autho­rized biog­ra­ph­er, Ser­gio Rubin, argues that this was a fail­ure of the Roman Catholic Church in gen­er­al, and that it’s unfair to label Bergoglio, then a thir­tysome­thing leader of Argenti­na’s Jesuits, with the col­lec­tive guilt that many Argen­tines of his gen­er­a­tion still wres­tle with.


    But oth­ers say Bergoglio’s rise through the Argen­tine church since then has put him in many posi­tions of pow­er where he could have done more to atone for the sins of Catholic offi­cials who did active­ly con­spire with the dic­ta­tors. Some priests even worked inside tor­ture cen­ters, and blessed those doing the killing.


    Bergoglio twice invoked his right under Argen­tine law to refuse to appear in open court in tri­als involv­ing tor­ture and mur­der inside the feared Navy Mechan­ics School and the theft of babies from detainees. When he even­tu­al­ly did tes­ti­fy in 2010, his answers were eva­sive, human rights attor­ney Myr­i­am Breg­man told the AP.

    Bergoglio’s own state­ments proved church offi­cials knew from ear­ly on that the jun­ta was tor­tur­ing and killing its cit­i­zens even as the church pub­licly endorsed the dic­ta­tors, she said. “The dic­ta­tor­ship could not have oper­at­ed this way with­out this key sup­port,” she said.

    Rubin, a reli­gious affairs writer for the Argen­tine news­pa­per Clar­in, said Bergoglio actu­al­ly took major risks to save so-called “sub­ver­sives” dur­ing the dic­ta­tor­ship, but nev­er spoke about it pub­licly before his 2010 biog­ra­phy, “The Jesuit.”

    In the book, Bergoglio said he did­n’t want to stoop to his crit­ics’ lev­el — and then shared some of his sto­ries. Bergoglio said he once passed his Argen­tine iden­ti­ty papers to a want­ed man with a sim­i­lar appear­ance, enabling him to escape over the bor­der to Brazil. Var­i­ous times, he said he shel­tered peo­ple inside church prop­er­ties before they were safe­ly deliv­ered into exile.

    The most damn­ing accu­sa­tion against Bergoglio is that as the mil­i­tary jun­ta took over in 1976, he with­drew his sup­port for two slum priests whose activist col­leagues in the lib­er­a­tion the­ol­o­gy move­ment were dis­ap­pear­ing. The priests were then kid­napped and tor­tured at the Navy Mechan­ics School, which the jun­ta used as a clan­des­tine prison.

    Bergoglio said he had told the priests — Orlan­do Yorio and Fran­cis­co Jal­ics — to give up their slum work for their own safe­ty, and they refused.

    “I warned them to be very care­ful,” Bergoglio told Rubin. “They were too exposed to the para­noia of the witch hunt. Because they stayed in the bar­rio, Yorio and Jal­ics were kid­napped.”

    Yorio lat­er accused Bergoglio of effec­tive­ly deliv­er­ing them to the death squads by declin­ing to pub­licly endorse their work. Yorio is now dead, and Jal­ics has refused to dis­cuss those events since mov­ing into a Ger­man monastery.

    Both priests were even­tu­al­ly dropped off blind­fold­ed in a field after a har­row­ing heli­copter ride, two of the few detainees to have sur­vived that prison.

    Rubin said Bergoglio only reluc­tant­ly told him the rest of the sto­ry: that he had gone to extra­or­di­nary, behind-the-scenes lengths to save them.

    The Jesuit leader per­suad­ed the fam­i­ly priest of feared dic­ta­tor Jorge Videla to call in sick so that he could say Mass instead. Once inside the jun­ta lead­er’s home, Bergoglio pri­vate­ly appealed for mer­cy, Rubin wrote.

    “For­tu­nate­ly, a while lat­er they were freed, first because they could­n’t accuse them of any­thing, and sec­ond, because we moved like crazy peo­ple. The very night that I learned of their kid­nap­ping, I began mov­ing” to save them, Bergoglio recalled. All this was done in secret, at a time when oth­er church lead­ers were pub­licly endors­ing the jun­ta and call­ing on Catholics to restore their “love for coun­try” despite the ter­ror in the streets. Oth­er mem­bers of the slum church who were cap­tured along with the priests were nev­er seen again.

    “It’s a very sen­si­tive sub­ject,” Rubin told the AP. “The Argen­tine church was one of the most con­ser­v­a­tive in Latin Amer­i­ca. It showed a good dis­po­si­tion toward the mil­i­tary author­i­ties, who, to make mat­ters worse, con­sid­ered them­selves Chris­tians and called them­selves good Catholics.”

    There were about 50 Argen­tine bish­ops at the time, and Bergoglio was some­where in the mid­dle polit­i­cal­ly, Rubin sug­gest­ed.

    “There were some who were in it up to their necks,” he said, cit­ing Chris­t­ian Fed­eri­co von Wer­nich, who served as a police chap­lain then and is now serv­ing a life sen­tence for tor­ture and kid­nap­ping.

    “There were those who risked it all to open­ly chal­lenge the jun­ta, and some of those end­ed up dead,” Rubin added, among them Bish­op Enrique Angelel­li who was killed in a sus­pi­cious traf­fic acci­dent in 1976 while car­ry­ing evi­dence about two mur­dered priests.

    Activists say the church has yet to ful­ly apol­o­gize for its human rights record, iden­ti­fy those respon­si­ble for the many vio­la­tions the church knew about at the time, or lead Argenti­na’s jus­tice sys­tem to bod­ies and peo­ple who were stolen as babies from their birth fam­i­lies.

    Bergoglio said when he ran Argenti­na’s bish­ops con­fer­ence in the 1990s that no such evi­dence exist­ed in church files, but that has­n’t sat­is­fied Gas­ton Chill­i­er, direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Legal and Social Stud­ies, which tracks the coun­try’s human rights cas­es.

    “There’s a seri­ous prob­lem here, that the new pope could be involved in con­fus­ing episodes over his role in cov­er­ing up the human rights vio­la­tions dur­ing the dic­ta­tor­ship, and beyond that, he was the head of the church for a long time dur­ing which they did­n’t apol­o­gize. This affects the legit­i­ma­cy they were hop­ing to con­fer on the leader of the church,” Chill­i­er said.

    Bergoglio was named Buenos Aires car­di­nal in 2001, after run­ning the Argen­tine con­fer­ence of bish­ops for sev­er­al years. Under his lead­er­ship, Argenti­na’s bish­ops issued a col­lec­tive apol­o­gy in Octo­ber 2012 for the church’s fail­ures to pro­tect its flock dur­ing the dic­ta­tor­ship, but the state­ment blamed the era’s vio­lence in rough­ly equal mea­sure on both the jun­ta and its ene­mies.

    “Bergoglio has been very crit­i­cal of human rights vio­la­tions dur­ing the dic­ta­tor­ship, but he has always also crit­i­cized the left­ist guer­ril­las; he does­n’t for­get that side,” Rubin said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 14, 2013, 8:37 pm
  6. Since Paul VI, with the pos­si­ble excep­tion of the short lived John Paul I (remem­ber him, Pope for a month), all the pon­tif­fs had a con­nec­tion to the Rat Line.

    The old say­ing goes, “All roads lead to Rome”, but the Rat Line lead to Argenti­na.

    Dave always said ‘What goes around, comes around’.

    Posted by Vanfield | March 14, 2013, 10:58 pm
  7. And the first offi­cial Vat­i­can response to the “Dirty War” alle­ga­tions appear to be “the ‘anti-cler­i­cal left’ is just mak­ing up sto­ries”:

    The New York Times
    Vat­i­can Rejects Argen­tine Accu­sa­tions Against Pope Fran­cis
    Pub­lished: March 15, 2013

    VATICAN CITY — — For the first time since the elec­tion of the Argen­tine Pope Fran­cis two days ago, the Vat­i­can on Fri­day for­mal­ly defend­ed his role in the so-called Dirty War in Argenti­na when crit­ics have accused him of fail­ing to do enough to halt abus­es of which he had knowl­edge.

    Rev. Fed­eri­co Lom­bar­di, the Vat­i­can spokesman, said there had “nev­er been a cred­i­ble accu­sa­tion against him” relat­ing to the peri­od in the 1970s when he was the supe­ri­or of the Jesuit order in Argenti­na.

    Indeed, “there have been many dec­la­ra­tions of how much he did for many peo­ple to pro­tect them from the mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship,” Father Lom­bar­di said in a state­ment at a news con­fer­ence.

    “The accu­sa­tions belong to the use of a his­tor­i­cal-social analy­sis of facts for many years by the anti-cler­i­cal left to attack the church and must be reject­ed deci­sive­ly.”


    Speak­ing to the church’s car­di­nals, he urged them to per­se­vere and find ways to spread word of their faith around the world.

    “Let us not give in to pes­simism, to that bit­ter­ness that the dev­il offers us every day,” he said. But he offered no direct allu­sion to the myr­i­ad chal­lenges fac­ing the Vat­i­can from a series of sex­u­al abuse, finan­cial and oth­er scan­dals that swamped much of Benedict’s papa­cy.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 15, 2013, 8:37 am
  8. @ R. Wil­son:

    Con­sor­tium News has the only direct ref­er­ence to Bergoglio’s knowl­edge of infant theft I have found yet, and it may be sig­nif­i­cant:

    “Yet, after the Dirty War, amid efforts to exact some account­abil­i­ty for the polit­i­cal slaugh­ter, Bergoglio resist­ed coop­er­a­tion with human right tri­als and, when he final­ly tes­ti­fied in 2010, his answers were eva­sive, human rights attor­ney Myr­i­am Breg­man told the Asso­ci­at­ed Press.

    Regard­ing the prac­tice of har­vest­ing babies from doomed women and then farm­ing them out to mil­i­tary fam­i­lies, Bergoglio has insist­ed that he didn’t know of the prac­tice until well after the Dirty War was over.

    How­ev­er, Estela de la Cuadra fam­i­ly con­tra­dict­ed Bergoglio’s claim of igno­rance in cit­ing a 1977 case in which Jesuits in Rome urged Bergoglio to inter­vene regard­ing the kid­nap­ping of Estela’s sis­ter Ele­na, who was five months’ preg­nant. The police report­ed back that the woman was a com­mu­nist and thus was killed but her baby girl was first deliv­ered and then giv­en to an “impor­tant” fam­i­ly.

    “Bergoglio has a very cow­ard­ly atti­tude when it comes to some­thing so ter­ri­ble as the theft of babies,” Estela de la Cuadra told the AP. “The ques­tion is how to save his name, save him­self. But he can’t keep these alle­ga­tions from reach­ing the pub­lic. The peo­ple know how he is.”


    Posted by Swamp | March 15, 2013, 9:30 am
  9. Here is chil­dren stolen, on a much larg­er scale by the Catholic Church:


    Jew­ish chil­dren hid­den twice over by the Church
    A French his­to­ri­an exam­ines a 1946 direc­tive for­bid­ding Catholic author­i­ties from hand­ing over bap­tized Jew­ish chil­dren to their fam­i­lies after the Holo­caust

    By Rebec­ca Ben­hamou May 27, 2013, 5:47 am 7

    PARIS — Reopen­ing a scan­dal that broke in 2004, the new French book “L’Eglise de France et les enfants juifs” (“The French Church and Jew­ish Chil­dren”) is a 10-year inves­ti­ga­tion into one of the most con­tro­ver­sial post-war Catholic Church poli­cies.

    The book, which recent­ly hit French book­stores, opens with a Octo­ber 23, 1946, direc­tive from the French Apos­tolic Nun­cia­ture that author Cather­ine Pou­jol found in the Church Archives in 2004 in Issy-les-Moulin­eaux, a com­mune in the south­west­ern area of Paris.

    Leaked to the Ital­ian dai­ly news­pa­per Cor­riere Del­la Sera with­out her per­mis­sion on Decem­ber 28, 2004, the doc­u­ment — writ­ten in French and “approved by the Holy Father” — for­bids Catholic author­i­ties from allow­ing Jew­ish chil­dren who had been shel­tered by Catholics and bap­tized to be returned to their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.

    “For Jews today, chil­dren or grand­chil­dren of Shoah sur­vivors, the let­ter from the Nun­cia­ture is writ­ten evi­dence of what was once feared,” Pou­jol writes. “We knew that after the war, Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions did every­thing in their pow­er to obtain a let­ter from the pope, a mem­o­ran­dum ask­ing insti­tu­tions look­ing after hid­den Jew­ish chil­dren to hand them over.

    “Today, we have the evi­dence that a con­trary order came from the Vat­i­can, and affect­ed some of these chil­dren,” she adds.

    The for­mal Church direc­tive out­lin­ing how to deal with requests from Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions look­ing for hid­den chil­dren through­out Europe fails to men­tion the atroc­i­ties of the Holo­caust.

    “Chil­dren who have been bap­tized must not be entrust­ed to insti­tu­tions that would not be in a posi­tion to guar­an­tee their Chris­t­ian upbring­ing,” the doc­u­ment says. “For chil­dren who no longer have their par­ents, giv­en the fact that the Church is respon­si­ble for them, it is not accept­able for them to be aban­doned by the Church or entrust­ed to any per­sons who have no rights over them, at least until they are in a posi­tion to choose them­selves.”

    Arch­bish­op of Lyon Mon­sign­or Ger­li­er — cred­it­ed with res­cu­ing 120 Jew­ish chil­dren from depor­ta­tion in Vénissieux — received the let­ter on April 30, 1947, along with anoth­er doc­u­ment, enti­tled “Note from the Abbot Blanc.”

    Explain­ing the opin­ion of a the­ol­o­gist con­sult­ed by the Vat­i­can envoy in France, Ange­lo Rocal­li, the doc­u­ment states: “Bap­tism is what makes a Chris­t­ian, hence it ‘can­cels the Jew,’ which allowed the Church to pro­tect so many endan­gered Israelites.”

    To this day, there are no reli­able fig­ures on how many French Jew­ish chil­dren were hid­den and saved by Catholics, or direct­ly affect­ed by this Church direc­tive.

    For almost a decade, Pou­jol has refused to talk to the press about her dis­cov­ery. Now, she explains the rea­sons behind her silence.

    “I didn’t want to add fuel to the fire with­out prop­er­ly inves­ti­gat­ing the sub­ject — and this was a very com­plex, lengthy process,” she told The Times of Israel.

    “When the media pub­lished the direc­tive, they had no evi­dence what­so­ev­er of its ori­gin and its actu­al impact on the field,” she con­tin­ues. “For a his­to­ri­an, it is very tempt­ing to talk to the press, espe­cial­ly when you dis­cov­er some­thing big. But had I talked, I would have lost my cred­i­bil­i­ty and the Church’s trust.”

    Pou­jol admits, how­ev­er, that with­out the 2004 scan­dal, the French Church would prob­a­bly not have grant­ed her access to its pri­vate archives.

    “The Church felt cor­nered, and at first adopt­ed an inward-look­ing stance. But soon it real­ized that deny­ing the access to these post­war doc­u­ments would fuel the scan­dal even more.”

    After exam­in­ing count­less sources and trav­el­ing through­out Europe, the US and Israel, Pou­jol came to the con­clu­sion that even if this doc­u­ment clear­ly out­lines the Church’s inten­tion of keep­ing bap­tized Jew­ish chil­dren under its cus­tody, it doesn’t cast blame on the entire Catholic Church.

    “Many priests and bish­ops act­ed com­plete­ly inde­pen­dent­ly and didn’t abide by the direc­tive,” she says.

    Pou­jol notes that there is very lit­tle evi­dence as to which mem­bers of the Church did receive the note.

    ‘On the one hand, a sacra­ment, in this case bap­tism, was admin­is­tered to save indi­vid­u­als from a like­ly death. But on the oth­er hand, Catholics tru­ly believe in the res­cue of souls via this sacra­ment’

    “After the war, the Church was in an unprece­dent­ed, excep­tion­al sit­u­a­tion — and wasn’t pre­pared for it,” she says. “On the one hand, a sacra­ment, in this case bap­tism, was admin­is­tered to save indi­vid­u­als from a like­ly death. But on the oth­er hand, Catholics tru­ly believe in the res­cue of souls via this sacra­ment.”

    Amid numer­ous, well-doc­u­ment­ed exam­ples, Pou­jol men­tions the Finaly Affair, which con­sumed and divid­ed France in 1953.

    In 1944, two Jew­ish boys, Robert and Ger­ald Finaly, were sent by their par­ents to a Catholic nurs­ery in Greno­ble. After the par­ents were deport­ed and died at Auschwitz, their uncle and aunt, who were liv­ing in Israel, attempt­ed to get the chil­dren back.

    In 1948, French Catholic nurse Antoinette Brun bap­tized the chil­dren with­out the family’s per­mis­sion and for­mal­ly adopt­ed them, omit­ting to tell the judge about the exis­tence of oth­er rel­a­tives.

    The affair reached the nation­al spot­light when a police inves­ti­ga­tion found that sev­er­al nuns of the Notre Dame de Sion order and Basque priests had arranged and exe­cut­ed the kid­nap­ping and smug­gling of the chil­dren in Spain in Feb­ru­ary 1953.

    The boys were returned to their fam­i­ly on July 25 after an eight-year legal bat­tle that divid­ed the French pub­lic opin­ion.

    Pou­jol explains, “The Finaly Affair is the most emblem­at­ic exam­ple of the Church’s ambiva­lent atti­tude. The debate opposed on the one hand Mon­sign­or Ger­li­er, who did every­thing he could not to hand over the chil­dren, and on the oth­er hand, Mon­sign­or Cail­lot, arch­bish­op of Greno­ble and fer­vent sup­port­er of the Vichy gov­ern­ment, who lob­bied active­ly to return the boys to their fam­i­ly.”

    “French pub­lic opin­ion was divid­ed into two oppos­ing camps, cler­i­cals against anti-cler­i­cals, Zion­ists against anti-Zion­ists, and canon law against Repub­li­can law,” she adds.

    In France, 11,600 Jew­ish chil­dren died dur­ing World War II, but anoth­er 72,400 sur­vived.

    “There are many gray areas when it comes to the role of the Catholic Church dur­ing and after the war; we can­not jump to a clear-cut, black or white con­clu­sion,” says Pou­jol. “The very goal of my book is to show that we need to adopt a nuanced stance.”

    Posted by Vanfield | May 29, 2013, 2:52 pm
  10. http://globalnews.ca/news/624150/pope-angers-turkey-over-armenian-genocide-comment/

    June 7, 2013 6:07 pm
    Pope angers Turkey over Armen­ian geno­cide com­ment
    By Nick Logan Glob­al News

    Pope Fran­cis has angered the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment by call­ing the mas­sacre of 1.5 mil­lion Arme­ni­ans, near­ly a cen­tu­ry ago, “the first geno­cide of the 20th cen­tu­ry.”

    The pon­tiff made the com­ment dur­ing a vis­it with a del­e­ga­tion of Armen­ian Catholics on Mon­day, when one mem­ber of the group said she was a descen­dant of geno­cide vic­tims.

    Hur­riyet Dai­ly News report­ed Fri­day the country’s For­eign Min­istry has expressed its “dis­ap­point­ment” with the Vat­i­can for mak­ing the com­ment.

    This isn’t the first time Pope Fran­cis has used the term geno­cide to refer to the atroc­i­ties car­ried out between 1915 and 1918.

    At events com­mem­o­rat­ing the killings’ 91st anniver­sary in 2006, while he was still a car­di­nal in Argenti­na he said the mass killings were the “gravest crime of Ottoman Turkey.”

    Turkey has long argued the mass killings and the depor­ta­tion of Arme­ni­ans dur­ing World War I were not acts of geno­cide – rather that Turks, then under the Ottoman Empire, were at war and atroc­i­ties were com­mit­ted on both sides.

    Sev­er­al coun­tries that rec­og­nize geno­cide includ­ing Argenti­na, Ger­many, Greece Rus­sia, Lebanon and Venezuela, Vat­i­can City and Cana­da.

    Read also: Oba­ma avoids using term ‘geno­cide’ in mark­ing anniver­sary of Armen­ian mas­sacres

    Cana­da has had a strained but func­tion­al rela­tion­ship with Turk­ish gov­ern­ment since the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment vot­ed in 2004 to rec­og­nize the geno­cide.

    “It can­not be busi­ness as usu­al while accus­ing a nation of geno­cide. It’s a seri­ous alle­ga­tion. It needs to be sub­stan­ti­at­ed, legal­ly, his­tor­i­cal­ly,” Turk­ish Ambas­sador Tun­cay Babali told The Cana­di­an Press in April of this year.

    Babali said he sus­pects Cana­da is not engag­ing eco­nom­i­cal­ly as quick­ly as Turkey would like because the geno­cide issue is still hang­ing over rela­tions.

    He said trade between the two coun­tries could be stronger. The Cana­di­an Press report­ed the two-way trade between the coun­tries amount­ed to $2.5 bil­lion.

    But Babali sug­gest­ed it could increase to $10-$15 bil­lion in the next five years if Cana­da and Turkey formed deep­er eco­nom­ic ties.

    Posted by Vanfield | June 8, 2013, 9:54 pm
  11. http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Europe/Muslim-envoy-asks-Pope-Francis-to-take-step-forward/Article1-1072395.aspx

    Mus­lim envoy asks Pope Fran­cis to take ‘step for­ward’
    Vat­i­can City, June 07, 2013
    First Pub­lished: 13:01 IST(7/6/2013)
    Last Updat­ed: 14:47 IST(7/6/2013)

    An envoy from Sun­ni Islam’s high­est seat of learn­ing, Al-Azhar in Cairo, raised the prospect of restor­ing ties with the Vat­i­can on Fri­day but called on Pope Fran­cis to take “a step for­ward” by declar­ing that Islam is a peace­ful reli­gion. “The prob­lems that we had were not with the Vat­i­can
    but with the for­mer pope. Now the doors of Al-Azhar are open,” Mah­moud Abdel Gawad, diplo­mat­ic envoy to the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, told Ital­ian dai­ly Il Mes­sag­gero in Cairo.

    “Fran­cis is a new pope. We are expect­ing a step for­ward from him. If in one of his address­es he were to declare that Islam is a peace­ful reli­gion, that Mus­lims are not look­ing for war or vio­lence, that would be progress in itself,” he said.

    A cer­e­mo­ny in March in which Pope Fran­cis washed the feet of young inmates in Rome, includ­ing a Mus­lim girl, was “a ges­ture that was very, very much appre­ci­at­ed” by Al-Azhar, Gawad said.

    He said that if Fran­cis were to accept an invi­ta­tion from Cop­tic Ortho­dox pope Tawadros II to vis­it Egypt, he could also vis­it Al-Azhar.

    “At that point, rela­tions and dia­logue would be restored imme­di­ate­ly,” he was quot­ed as say­ing.

    But Gawad ruled out the prospect of talks between the lead­ers of the world’s three main monothe­is­tic reli­gions men­tioned in Vat­i­can cir­cles, say­ing Al-Azhar “will not take part in any meet­ing with Israelis.”

    In 2006, then pope Bene­dict XVI sparked fury across the Mus­lim world when he recount­ed an anec­dote in which the Mus­lim Prophet Mohammed was described as a war­mon­ger who spread evil teach­ings.

    Dia­logue resumed in 2009, but was again sev­ered after Bene­dict strong­ly called for pro­tec­tion of Chris­t­ian minori­ties fol­low­ing a 2011 bomb­ing at a church in Alexan­dria, Egyp­t’s sec­ond city.

    Posted by Vanfield | June 8, 2013, 10:58 pm

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