Wikileaks strikes again, releasing documents that show that the Vatican strongly supported brutal dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile after he overthrew Salvador Allende in 1973. And they communicated this to Henry Kissinger, then the secretary of state and also a supporter of Pinochet.
The Vatican once dismissed reports of massacres by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as “Communist propaganda”, according to US diplomatic and intelligence documents from the 1970s leaked on Monday.
One cable dated October 18, 1973 sent to Washington by the US embassy to the Holy See relayed a conversation with the Vatican’s then deputy Secretary of State, Giovanni Benelli, the leak by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks showed.
Benelli expressed “his and the pope’s grave concern over successful international leftist campaign to misconstrue completely realities of Chilean situation,” read the cable to then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
“Benelli labelled exaggerated coverage of events as possibly greatest success of Communist propaganda,” it said, adding that the Italian monsignor said this showed “how Communists can influence free world media in future”.
This is hardly a surprise. Pinochet’s brutal policies of imprisoning, torturing and killing his enemies was in line with what the church itself did for centuries when it had political power in Europe.