Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The New Pope, Giving Communion to the Creator of Argentina's Dirty War - La Guerra Sucia?

This picture was posted on Wednesday, by Immortal Tech, asking if it is an image of newly installed Pope Francis I, giving communion to former Argentine dictator, Jorge Rafael Videla.  From the look of the image, Videla is much older than when he presided over the abduction, detention, torture and murder of at least 30,000 Argentine liberals and radicals.  And we cannot see the face of the Argentine Catholic cleric offering Christ's flesh to this ogre who presided over such barbarism.

Whether or not the new pope is the person assuaging this monster, the role of the Catholic Church in Argentina's Guerra Sucia is undeniable.

I've been following news stories on the Dirty War since the mid-1980s.  Even before the Worldwide Web, I was involved in internet discussion groups on the subject, some of them in Spanish.

Tens of thousands of liberals were arrested or kidnapped.  They were brought to detention centers more humane than our Guantanamo, or most of our maximum security prisons, initially.  Eventually they were moved to military detention centers.  Most were tortured.  Some were shot outright, individually, or in small groups, buried in pits.

Pregnant women were made to deliver their babies, then had them taken, given to conservative Catholic families who wanted kids.

Then the shocked women were sent to "transfer centers," where they joined thousands about to die.  Most were told they would soon be released.  They weren't

They were drugged, stripped naked, chained into small groups, led into  US-supplied C-130s, and flown out to sea, sometimes hundreds of miles out into the Atlantic.

They were then unchained, and thrown, one by one, into the sea.  None survived.

It appears that the Catholic Church is moving from a reactionary pope to a pontiff who blessed torturers.

Part of the way the truth about some of the most awful deaths during Videla's Dirty War emerged, was that Argentine military who had participated in torture and murder wanted to to confess to a priest, and were rebuffed by their chaplains, or were reported to their commanders for being weak or worse by the same chaplains.  This came out in trials in Italy and Spain in the early 1990s.

The most vibrant part of Catholicism in Latin America is its progressive arm, Liberation Theology, which tries to uplift the poor, and represents Jesus as such a figure.  Francis I represents the opposite side of the spectrum, which, in part, represents Jesus as a king who oversees princes and an aristocracy who oversee the rest of humanity.  Francis I represents a Catholicism that is quickly dying, as it sucks the life out of what good there was in that faith.



Anonymous said...

the CC has worked hand in hand with the military and wealthy landowners in Latin America for hundreds of years in a very successful effort to keep the poor in their place. In current news, Poop Francis wasn't elected by the child molesters in tall hats to clean house. He will do their bidding.

Anonymous said...

I can confirm the following concerning this image.

The image you posted is cropped. The image uncropped may be viewed here.

The caption at that link is "AFP/Getty image Former Argentine military dictator Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla takes communion from then-priest Bergoglio.
Videla was released from prison where he had been serving a life term sentence on charges including homicide, kidnapping and torture.

Videla's prison history in brief:
Sentenced and imprisoned in 1985, pardoned and released by Carlos Menem in 1990, imprisoned in 1998 for 38 days and then released to house arrest, and then convicted and sentenced to a life term on Dec 22, 2010.

In the Getty archives the same image may be viewed with the following caption:

" Caption: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Former Argentine military dictator Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla takes communion from a priest of a local church, Buenos Aires, 30 December 1990. The day before Videla was released from prison where he had been serving a life term sentence on charges including homicide, kidnapping and torture. Videla and 7 other former military rulers were officially pardoned 30 December by President Carlos Menem. (Photo credit should read AFP/Getty Images)
Date created: 30 Dec 1990
Editorial image #: 51400014 "

This caption is consistent with the 1990 release of Videla and the relative unimportance of Bergoglio at that time.

A number of other images of Bergoglio and Videla may be viewed here.

Philip Munger said...

@ 9:39 - Thanks!