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Mar 13 2013

PZ was wrong wrong wrong

My esteemed co-blogger lists the usual pope field marks — old, male, conservative, homophobic, godbag — and says “that’s all you need to know” about New Pope. But it turns out, as pointed out by a few commenters downthread, that Francis I is worse than that. A lot worse.

Says commenter sc_e94313c775e472e2749a200883fdec2e (can I call you “sc_e”?)

As an Argentinian I can confirm your “rumours” and add that this guy was a collaborator with the military during the last coup d’etat during the 70′s : Among many things, he informed to the military that two monks that were working in a low income neighbourhood were no longer protected by the catholic church, facilitating their detention and posterior disappearance.
Mind you, to “dissapear” at that time meant to be detained by the military, held without rights or trial, possibly (and often) tortured under suspicions of being a Marxist/ “terrorist”, being completely incomunicated with your family and finally be killed and buried on an unmarked grave, or thrown form a plane into the river.
Thrown.
From a fucking plane.
Into the river. (Known as “deathflights”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_flights )

I’ve seen some “progressive” Catholics in the English-speaking world already lauding this guy for his apparent concern for the poor. I seem not to be able to embed Storify curations here, so here’s a link instead: Check out this Storify being collected by Asteris Masouras. And if you’re an English speaking progressive of whatever religious orientation who doesn’t know what the Dirty War was, you need to learn. This Al Jazeera documentary is a start. (Serious trigger warning for, well, everything.)

80 comments

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  1. 1
    jackal

    From a former Nazi Youth to a mass murdering fascist collaborator. Keepin’ the papacy classy.

  2. 2
    unclefrogy

    I think the church got what they wanted. This isn’t even one whole day into this stage but it can’t go on with great praise for “The Holy Father”
    this will smolder on These dirty wars are not confined any longer to if they ever were to south america.
    Battling some kind of virus today does not make me so optimistic as usual. I watch the video so am feeling kind of depressed.
    uncle frogy

  3. 3
    A. R

    Sometimes I wonder if the College of Cardinals is secretly trying to self-destruct the RCC. Seriously, Ratzi was bad enough with the whole being a Nazi thing, but electing a bonafide war criminal to the papacy is going a bit far.

  4. 4
    PZ Myers

    The Guardian also has an article on his collaboration with war criminals.

    The Church knows how to pick ‘em.

  5. 5
    Alverant

    So we’ve gone from a pope who was drafted by the Nazis to one who worked with terrorists. Lovely.

    As I commented elsewhere, the GOP has been hitting President Obama over the head for years for how he “palled around” with terrorists, now that the new pope actually worked with terrorists are those same GOPers going to “attack” him for the same reason or look the other way?

  6. 6
    throwaway

    Fuck the fucking pope, fuck the fucking bishops, fuck the fucking cardinals, fuck the fucking priests, fuck them all those dirty rotten fuckers. Jesus fucking wept. Bookmarked for my “Christians have superior morals because God” retaliation folder.

  7. 7
    SallyStrange

    Well, you couldn’t very well elect a non-criminal to head up a criminal syndicate.

  8. 8
    unclefrogy

    Sally:
    thank you, that was the only laugh in the whole day.

    uncle frogy

  9. 9
    rorschach

    Oh dear. From the article PZ linked to:

    He recounts how the Argentinian navy with the connivance of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now the Jesuit archbishop of Buenos Aires, hid from a visiting delegation of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission the dictatorship’s political prisoners. Bergoglio was hiding them in nothing less than his holiday home in an island called El Silencio in the River Plate. The most shaming thing for the church is that in such circumstances Bergoglio’s name was allowed to go forward in the ballot to chose the successor of John Paul II. What scandal would not have ensued if the first pope ever to be elected from the continent of America had been revealed as an accessory to murder and false imprisonment

    Little did they know.

  10. 10
    Argle Bargle

    Alverant #5

    As I commented elsewhere, the GOP has been hitting President Obama over the head for years for how he “palled around” with terrorists, now that the new pope actually worked with terrorists are those same GOPers going to “attack” him for the same reason or look the other way?

    The GOP will love the new pope. He supported right-wing terrorists, an actual military junta. Jorge Rafael Videla, Orlando Agosti, and Emilio Massera were genuine fascist military dictators. The Republicans and their propaganda ministry, Fox News, are celebrating that the papacy remains a bastion of anti-humanist conservatism.

  11. 11
    lopsided

    Literally the first thing I wondered when I heard he was from Argentina was, “is he going to turn out to have collaborated with the fascists in the 70s? Let me check Google..”

  12. 12
    robro

    But the real question is does he fit the Prophecy of the Popes by Saint Malachy. Is Bergie the true Petrus Romanus or will he be one of the “In perſecutione extrema S.R.E. ſedebit”? We just don’t know. But if Francis is Petrus Romanus, then Roman is toast, which might mean an end of the RCC. Not a bad thing.

  13. 13
    robro

    Alverant @ #5

    …now that the new pope actually worked with terrorists are those same GOPers going to “attack” him for the same reason or look the other way?

    Why in the world would they do that? Videla, et al weren’t terrorists. They weren’t even Muslim. And, they were just mistaken about the location of the Malvinas.

  14. 14
    robro

    Ah, yes, now I recall where I heard that name “Francis” before…Francis the Talking Mule. How fitting?

  15. 15
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Can we have Piltdown Scumbag unbanned for a day or so? I want to see just how much he’ll lie to defend the new head creeper.

  16. 16
    laurentweppe

    From a former Nazi Youth to a mass murdering fascist collaborator. Keepin’ the papacy classy.

    There’s a huge difference between being conscripted against your will by a fascist regime as a boy, and deliberately helping a fascist regime as a grown man -to the point of selling out members of your own clergy-

  17. 17
    michaelbusch

    Wikipedia informs me that the two priests concerned, Orlando Yorio and Franz Jalics, were found alive but drugged five months after being disappeared. Bergoglio insists that he interceded with the junta for their lives, but does not explain why they were not protected from being kidnapped and unlawfully imprisoned.

  18. 18
    Ichthyic

    I’m surprised there isn’t just a continuous link to Tim Minchin in these posts.

    what else is there to say really?

    fuck the motherfucking Pope already.

  19. 19
    Matrim

    Seriously, is there no one in the college of cardinals that isn’t cartoonishly over-the-top evil? I mean, yeah, as an institution the Catholic Church is pretty fucking evil, but there are a lot of decent folk in it. Is there really no one who wasn’t a war criminal or a Nazi to choose from? I mean, are the rest cannibals or something and this is the best option?

  20. 20
    ck

    Ulysses wrote:

    The GOP will love the new pope. He supported right-wing terrorists, an actual military junta.

    Oh, do they ever. Fox News talking shithead, Erick Erickson tweets:
    That lefties are accusing the new pope of handing over lefties to the right wing junta for execution makes me adore the new pope.
    But don’t take that as endorsement of the death squads. He just likes the result, that’s all. If you take it as him endorsing the death squads, you’re a leftist socialist commie nazi loony, who can’t read.

  21. 21
    left0ver1under

    I hate to say I told you so, but my predictions were a wishy-washy compromise or a reactionary as bad or worse than Ratfink. Out of the 110 or so cardinals voting, Ratfink appointed eighty four of them, so it doesn’t shock me to see the one elected was equally fascist and complicit in crimes.

    No doubt this guy will “forgive” or “cleanse” the cult of not just the murders of Argentinians, Chileans and Spanish victims of fascist regimes, but also the wealthy families involved in the kidnapping of orphans and babies.

  22. 22
    michaelbusch

    @Matrim:

    Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini was much less bad than average. But he died last August. In his last interview, published posthumously, he described the Church as “200 years out of date.”

  23. 23
    robro

    laurentweppe @ #16

    There’s a huge difference between being conscripted against your will by a fascist regime as a boy, and…

    Of course there is, but how certain are we of the “conscripted against your will” part? Any chance that the official history has been, shall we say, redacted?

    What I’ve seen about this is related by Ratzinger’s brother, Georg, who is also a priest. Georg recounts how their father was “bitterly opposed” to Nazism, and suffered demotions and hardships because of it. There’s also a story about a euthanized cousin. Is this truth? How would we know?

    BTW, Cardinal Faulhaber, who’s Cardinal drag inspired Ratzinger at the age of 5 to want to become a Cardinal (or so Georg’s story goes), who founded the boarding school the Ratzinger brothers attended, and who ordained both of them, is described in this NY Times article as “An ambiguous figure during World War II, who critics say accommodated the Nazis…” Mmm…now isn’t that curious. And dad, the bitterly opposed, paid for boarding school with this man?

    Interestingly, in 1943 Ratzinger was drafted at 16, serving in a couple of roles before deserting at the end and returning home. I knew a German circus performer who told of being drafted into the German army during the war. He said that after getting the call up, he hid from the authorities for some months until they threatened his sister’s family. With that he surrendered, trained as a medic, and went to Yugoslavia and then the dreaded Eastern Front. I have no way of knowing if Lothar’s story was true, of course, but it’s interesting that there is no story of Ratzinger trying to resist or avoid being drafted.

  24. 24
    robro

    @michaelbusch #17 – Here’s the LA Times story with the bit about the kidnapped priests turning up drugged and seminude.

  25. 25
    MFHeadcase

    @ Matrim 19

    According to Catholic doctrine, every single one of them are cannibals. As is anyone who has taken communion.

  26. 26
    michaelbusch

    @robro:

    Thanks for digging up the reference.

  27. 27
    Rob Grigjanis

    PZ @4: Here‘s a recent update to O’Shaughnessy’s piece (at 9.47 pm);

    A note of caution about a claim in Hugh O’Shaughnessy’s comment piece extracted below. We have not been able to ask Argentinian journalist Horacio Verbitsky about the allegation that Bergoglio was implicated in helping the Argentine navy hide political prisoners in what O’Shaughnessy described as “his holiday home in an island called El Silencio”. One of our reporters is examining the claims made by Verbitsky in his book. It appears that the island was owned by a senior Buenos Aires Catholic official, not Bergoglio, and visited by priests in the diocese. The Guardian has not seen any evidence linking Bergoglio to the hiding of prisoners on the island. We will publish a more detailed report as soon as possible.

  28. 28
    Rob Grigjanis

    “Note about” rather than “update to”.

  29. 29
    jackal

    @ laurentweppe #16
    You’re right. I should have just gone with “child rape enabler.”

  30. 30
    Ingdigo Jump

    Hark I think I can hear Pilty cumming even from all the way over here!

  31. 31
    consciousness razor

    Of course there is, but how certain are we of the “conscripted against your will” part?

    Pretty certain. Being fourteen years old in Nazi Germany doesn’t exactly scream “wasn’t coerced by anyone, so he could carefully think about which political ideology made sense to him, deciding that he really was going to be a fucking Nazi (despite not doing anything beyond that to distinguish himself as such).” Certain enough that decades later, I wouldn’t use it against someone who, for all I know, may have been a victim of the fucking Nazis rather than one of them. Not even against some fucker like Ratzinger. I wouldn’t waste my time, because for one thing, he’s done a lot of evil shit since which we can actually know about.

    Any chance that the official history has been, shall we say, redacted?

    Sure, why not? There is a non-zero chance. If you’re already willing to settle for “any chance” instead of “more likely than not,” then I guess granting that much can’t hurt.

  32. 32
    irisvanderpluym

    I’ve been reading a lot lately about U.S. foreign policy in South America, from the Monroe Doctrine through the Dirty War to the present day, and I am revolted by the School of the Americas. This is where the U.S. Army trained (trains?) corrupt right-wing dictators, military officers and paramilitary police forces (a.k.a. death squads) in the fine art of torture and the violent suppression of leftists for the benefit of U.S. corporate and financial interests. I think about people like Erick Erickson quoted by ck @ 20:

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

    And I understand exactly what these people would do to lefties here in the States if they could.

  33. 33
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    The cardinals probably have no wish to end the system that guarantees them power, luxury, and privilege. They merely live in such a bubble of privilege that they simply don’t realize other people who think differently matter. The marks are just blobs who exist to cough up money.

  34. 34
    John Pieret

    As a long lapsed Catholic, this is truly insane. After all the pedophilia, the coverups, the “standard” abuse of girls as slave labor in Ireland. etc. etc. you’d think they would be smart enough to choose someone who could withstand more than a Google minute’s scrutiny. One thing it shows, I think, is that the Catholic church has given up on the Western world and is now banking its hopes on the developing nations of Latin America and Africa, where poverty is still great enough to make the promise of (literally) “pie in the sky” a selling point.

  35. 35
    Amphiox

    As a long lapsed Catholic, this is truly insane. After all the pedophilia, the coverups, the “standard” abuse of girls as slave labor in Ireland. etc. etc. you’d think they would be smart enough to choose someone who could withstand more than a Google minute’s scrutiny.

    But I wonder. Was there even a single potential candidate who actually COULD withstand a Google minute of scrutiny?

  36. 36
    Rip Steakface

    I’m unfortunately going to have to side with Ratzi on the Hitler Youth thing. Being conscripted by fascists as a kid isn’t exactly something you can control – there’s plenty of people who resisted, yes, but isn’t saying those who didn’t resist were sympathetic to the Nazis tantamount to victim blaming? It sounds eerily similar to “she didn’t fight me, therefore she wanted it.”

    There is a case to be made for Ratzi’s core beliefs being molded and corrupted by Nazi propaganda, since he was pretty much force-fed it from five to seventeen years old. Even though it’s probable that his beliefs aren’t identical to that of a Nazi, I’d bet he has some lingering effects of that sort of societal programming.

  37. 37
    unclefrogy

    there are many things that are similar where “The Church” is strongest poverty as has been mentioned there is also week human rights which go along with poverty by an large also week democratic governments where the rich and the corrupt governmental officials take the best share and leave the poor to their god and let the church control the poor.

    Religion perpetuating he medieval life patterns into the future

    uncle frogy

  38. 38
    unclefrogy

    t

  39. 39
    laurentweppe

    Of course there is, but how certain are we of the “conscripted against your will” part? Any chance that the official history has been, shall we say, redacted?

    Oh fuck off: Panzer was fourteen when he was enrolled in the Hitler Youth: FOUR-TEEN: do you want to wave your dick while shouting “Nazi Pope! Nazi Pope! Nazi Pope!” so much that you don’t care if you become a gutless birther-style liar (“I’m using Interrogative sentence, Therefore you’re not allowed to say that I am implying something I know to be false just for kicks“)?

  40. 40
    petrander

    Fuck. Just… fuck.

    Excuse me, while I’m off watching cute kitty videos on YouTube now…

  41. 41
    =8)-DX

    Um, Ratzi was just in the Hitler youth people, I know this is the time for hyperbole and snide remarks, but in no way was Mr. Benedict a nazi. Ex-grand-inquisitor, child-molesting-priest-hider and anti-secular-crusader definitely. But not a nazi.
    Let’s keep it real.
    – - – - – - – -
    =8)-DX

  42. 42
    jamesheartney

    If this story holds up, and the new Pope turns out to have delivered people up to the junta, it’s a monumental PR faceplant for the church. The misogyny and anti-gay bigotry are bad, but they go with the territory; not so actual criminal conspiracy with a murderous dictatorship. The guy’s in and can’t be easily removed, so if this turns out to be a true story then it’s another giant black eye for the institution, and it’ll just keep on hurting them for as long as he’s in place.

    A big part of this is the fact that their procedure for choosing a leader is literally out of the middle ages. In a modern organization, there’ll be vetting and background checks carried out on any leadership candidates, and if after all that a scandal from the past breaks out after the CEO gets named, the board can always fire him/her.

    The church can’t do any of that, though. I doubt they had the equipment to search candidates’ names on Google, much less run a thorough background check on them. Instead you have an insular, self-selected group voting based on their perceptions of each other without any outside input. And once the decision is made, there’s no going back. It’s really just asking for a blow-up like the one that seems to be happening.

    The RCC is the last large unapologetic authoritarian patriarchy still in place in the world. One reason such organizations are scarce is they don’t have the right feedback mechanisms to act as a reality check on the leadership, so they’re prone to blundering into disasters like this one. I might almost feel sorry for them (the cardinals have no idea what this is doing to the already-low stock of public goodwill the church has left). Except then I think about their facilitating child rape, and then I think it’s just karma.

  43. 43
    omnicrom

    I have no problem forgiving Ratzinger for being in the Hitler Youth when he was 14. It’s much more relevant to castigate him for being one of the foremost officials in the Catholic church fighting to cover up the sexual abuse scandals. Sure, I can forgive him for being a Nazi when he was child, but I will never forgive Ratzinger for his actions as a fully grown man when he announced any priest who worked to put child rapists behind bars was a sinner who would be excommunicated from the church.

    Ratzinger is quite evil enough even without being a former Nazi, the damage he did as an adult far outstrips what little he did wrong as a child.

  44. 44
    Azuma Hazuki

    I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or vomit. Is there a word for that feeling?

  45. 45
    mildlymagnificent

    you’d think they would be smart enough to choose someone who could withstand more than a Google minute’s scrutiny

    Apart from the ability or otherwise to access google or wiki, this is a classic case of allowing the urgent to endanger the important. We have all the current scandals with child abuse/cover-ups, the politicking in the Curia, the banking farce, the HIV v. condoms issue, the domination by Europeans and Vatican insiders. So a majority of these people went through the neon blinking checklist, and came up with a couple of breaks from tradition – non-European, Jesuit into the bargain – and found what they thought was a winner.

    Even if they’d had a passing thought about this issue, they would have seen it through the lenses so kindly provided by rattie and jp2 – as an internal church issue about who was on the right (pun intended) side during the 70s to 90s upheavals around liberation theology. Otherwise regarded as communists within the fold. It’s no accident that the beatification/ canonisation of Oscar Romero is still “in course”. He never had the support of the Vatican, he had full-scale opposition, despite (because of) his living fully the ‘option for the poor’ so loudly proclaimed and so little pursued by the Rome bureaucracy.

  46. 46
    rorschach

    If this story holds up, and the new Pope turns out to have delivered people up to the junta, it’s a monumental PR faceplant for the church. The misogyny and anti-gay bigotry are bad, but they go with the territory; not so actual criminal conspiracy with a murderous dictatorship.

    Not that anyone would know this out of the MSM. What I’ve seen on TV here locally and on places like CNN, and heard on the radio, could make you think the guy’s a saint, what with all the “lived in poverty” BS and soforth. No mentioning of his past in any critical way whatsoever.

  47. 47
    Lofty

    “Ancient prophecies point to Pope Francis being the last ”
    http://www.news.com.au/world-news/ancient-prophecies-point-to-pope-francis-being-the-last/story-fndir2ev-1226596943811?from=public_rss
    .
    ;-)

  48. 48
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Good old NYT. Don’t want to cause a scandal by discussing the actual Pope, so instead they discuss the voting process. In a two page article, less than a third is about the man himself.

    After a load of gumpf about about how humble he is and how amazing it is that he cooks for himself and get’s the bus to work, we get to the crux of the matter:

    A doctrinal conservative, Francis has opposed liberation theology, abortion, gay marriage and the ordination of women, standing with his predecessor in holding largely traditional views.

    As archbishop of Buenos Aires beginning in 1998 and a cardinal since 2001, he frequently tangled with Argentina’s governments over social issues. In 2010, for example, he castigated a government-supported law to legalize marriage and adoption by same-sex couples as “a war against God.”

    He has been less energetic, however, in urging the Argentine church to examine its own behavior during the 1970s, when the country was consumed by a conflict between right and left. In what became known as the Dirty War, as many as 30,000 people were disappeared, tortured or killed by a military dictatorship that seized power in March 1976.

    In a long interview with an Argentine newspaper in 2010, Cardinal Bergoglio defended his behavior during the dictatorship. He said that he had helped hide people being sought for arrest or disappearance by the military because of their political views, had helped others leave Argentina and had lobbied the country’s military rulers directly for the release and protection of others.

    Unsuprisingly, no mention of of specific accusations against him, just vague implications that he may, possibly, have done something wrong, but it’s OK because he defended his actions.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/world/europe/cardinals-elect-new-pope.html?_r=0

  49. 49
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    * So he’s certainly no better than the last, and probably a lot worse. Fantastic.

  50. 50
    Don Quijote

    The obnoxious and vile ex-mp Ann Widdecombe(opposing abortion, supporting the death penalty) who converted from the Anglican church to the Catholic because of, you know, women bishops is gushing all over this wonderful news.

    What will she think when Jorge inevetably pokes his nose into British politics over the Falklands (Malvinas)?

  51. 51
    jonmilne

    Dear Tim Minchin,

    Your services are humbly required for the services of “Pope Song II” please.

    Kind regards,

    Every Sane Person On The Planet

  52. 52
    jonmilne

    Also, copy-pastaing a comment I made in the other thread to here with minor adjustments:

    By the way, doesn’t it also say something major about the Vatican that they’ve ended up having to plump for the guy who wasn’t apparently as good but was even more insane than the other guy the last time they had a conclave eight years ago? Sorta reminds me of the Republican Party in 2008 and 2012, come to think it.

    Then again, I don’t think the Vatican had much choice. Take a good look at who the “front-runners” supposedly were in this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-21657407 , a common theme in the “Weaknesses” for each of those candidates was that they either lacked presence or charisma, hadn’t held key positions, were seen as too much of a continuation of Ratzinger, hadn’t been successful with preventing stuff in their own countries, didn’t have key alliances, or just were generally seen as not major enough to hold the position. Since Bergoglio does at least seem to apparently satisfy a good chunk of these (and perhaps also satisfying the Vatican’s new policy of “Must have played an active part in helping an oppressive regime”), I guess he was seen as the only guy who is “ready”, so to speak.

    Course, this doesn’t change the fact of their insanity in choosing a guy who is 76 and a former fascist, already older and more mentally unstable than all the supposed front-runners. You’d think the Vatican, in the face of Ratzinger’s resignation, would have recognised the need for a Pope who could serve in the long time as well as one with considerably less skeletons in his closet, as opposed to Francis who’s already been hit by scandalous news about his past and who will surely amount to nothing more than a very short term Pope. I genuinely would not be surprised whatsoever if he becomes the shortest reigning Pope in the last 400 years and ends up beating Pope John Paul I’s record for shortest reigning modern times Pope, which currently stands at 33 days. For those who are interested, here’s the list of shortest reigning Popes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_10_shortest-reigning_popes#Shortest-reigning_popes . Urban VII at 13 days is the guy to beat for the “official” record for all-time reigns.

  53. 53
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Hmm, just found this:

    …known for his care for AIDS patients and people who are very sick. Who is known for his concern with single mothers whose babies were refused to be baptized by priests in his diocese.

    “He scolded those priests last year and said, ‘How can you turn these people away when they belong to us? ‘”

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/14/world/pope-5-things/index.html

    So, you know, that’s um… that’s something… right?

    /desperately seraching for a silver lining.

  54. 54
    Ingdigo Jump

    no this isn’t a PR face fault by the church. No one in media I’ll risk touching that third rail because journalists in mainstream are glorified publicists.

    Mother Teresa was a big juicy exposee that would take minimal investigation to break and we still don’t get anyone too willing to break with the popular narrative.

    Evil wins and people will lionize another monster as a symbol of nobility.

  55. 55
    Anri

    I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or vomit. Is there a word for that feeling?

    “Religion.”

  56. 56
    birgerjohansson

    Scroll down this link at Storify, and read the comment by Fox News contributor Eric Ericksson .
    The fucker actually lauds the pope for collaborating with a gang of murderers in the seventies.
    http://storify.com/asteris/pope-francis-colluded-with-the-argentine-junta?utm_medium=sfy.co-twitter&utm_campaign=&utm_content=storify-pingback&utm_source=t.co&awesm=sfy.co_aFbr
    .
    Eric Erickson is obviously a Swedish-immigrant name, so apart from Strom Thurmond this is another morally defective mutant we Swedes have inflicted on the world. Jeez why do so many from the Swede-settled parts of USA join the brownshirts?
    (Pro: The guy who built Monitor during the civil war.
    Con: A fuckeen army of malign people, sans emapthy)

  57. 57
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Of course there is, but how certain are we of the “conscripted against your will” part? Any chance that the official history has been, shall we say, redacted?

    It’s just patently stupid
    A) you didn’t have much choice anyway
    B) even if he joined willingly, he was 14 years old and had lived most of his life under that system
    That doesn’t exactly count as a free decision.
    Just hang Ratzinger for the crimes he commited and not for your imaginary conspiracy theories.

    As for the new one:
    Well, of course the RCC does a lot for poor people. For one thing they make sure that there’s an endless supply of them and then they also see to that they remain poor, and both things are easily achieved by denying women contraception. You gotta admire their genius.

  58. 58
    Pablo Flores

    Argentinian here. I don’t like Bergoglio at all and I think the accusations of collaboration do amount to something, if only to a sin of omission — turning a blind eye to what was happening to his own Jesuit brothers. That’s the very least of what he did, though he denies even that. Some facts are very difficult to establish now, of course. Horacio Verbitsky is a respected and thorough journalist but he also has a very marked ideological bent, so naturally many refuse to pay attention to what he wrote. And many are just ridiculously proud of having an Argentine pope.

    In an article posted today Verbitsky calls Bergoglio “an ersatz pope“, a “populist conservative”, a very astute Jesuit masquerading as a new Francis of Assissi, a man people will love just because he used to travel by bus, did pastoral work in the slums and cooks his own meals.

  59. 59
    throwaway
    I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or vomit. Is there a word for that feeling?

    “Religion.”

    Anri please proceed to the manager’s office to pick up your sniny new Internets…

  60. 60
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Of course there is, but how certain are we of the “conscripted against your will” part? Any chance that the official history has been, shall we say, redacted?

    As has been pointed out to me, in many and painful ways, adults can convince children to do some pretty damn evil things. And yes, a fourteen year old is still a child. And keep in mind that Ratzinger had, what, nine years before that having national socialism force fed through both state and religious schools? I think he had less choice that I did.

  61. 61
    Nick Gotts

    Even if the specific allegations against Bergoglio don’t hold up, there’s no doubt that the Argentine Church was deeply implicated in collaboration with the “Dirty War”, and any Argentine priest who kept quiet was also a collaborator. Moreover, Bergoglio was already head of the Jesuit order in Argentina, and photographs show him hobnobbing with Videla and similar scum.

  62. 62
    dianne

    I mean, are the rest cannibals or something and this is the best option?

    They’re all cannibals. Remember crackergate? Ritual cannibalism is performed at Catholic mass. It is, per doctrine, literal cannibalism of zombie Jesus’ body. So cannibalism wouldn’t be a rule out.

    A friend of mine who is ethnically and previously religiously Jewish found out what the ritual with the crackers means when he was in his 30s. He found the revelation quite traumatic and still looks a bit askance at the thought.

  63. 63
    birgerjohansson

    While his official papal name is “Franciskus I” I would pronounce it “Fecalfink I” on account of him giving up two monks to be tortured and killed.

    Can we have a contest to come up with the best descriptive name for this pope?

    Offhand, I can think of “Faschistus I”, “Frankenputz I” and “FuckerPlus I”

  64. 64
    dianne

    Realistically, there was absolutely no chance that the cardinals were going to pick someone decent for Pope. The Pope was always going to be a sexist homophobe who supports the power structure as it stands. They probably could have done worse. At least they got away from the Europe only thing and picked someone with relatively modest tastes, at least in public. There’s even a chance that the new pope isn’t involved in any sex scandals, either directly or through a cover up. It could have been worse. I’m pretty sure.

  65. 65
    efedora

    On the plus side, now that the Pope is a Jesuit maybe the Vatican will finally get a decent basketball team.

  66. 66
    A. R

    birgerjohansson: I’m all for “King of the Paedos”

  67. 67
    Gregory in Seattle

    @birgerjohansson #63 – Frankie Goes to Vatican

  68. 68
    birgerjohansson

    Paedophilip Rex?

  69. 69
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Nick Gotts

    and photographs show him hobnobbing with Videla and similar scum.

    This is the man who had children kidnapped. I can only imagine that more and more information on their friendship will turn up. What is it with these sordid lizard-people and children?

  70. 70
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    More:

    Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta Stefanini was a minister (Agriculture) in the cabinet of Videla and father of Princess Máxima of the Netherlands.

  71. 71
    left0ver1under

    birgerjohansson (#63)

    While his official papal name is “Franciskus I” I would pronounce it “Fecalfink I” on account of him giving up two monks to be tortured and killed.

    Nah. Pope Fascist I (or CCXII since they all were) is good enough.

    The two names I heard and used for the last two were:
    John Pedophile II
    Vindictive
    Considering their actions and their legacy, it fits them both.

    The real name of Vindictive also made good fodder for parody: Ratfink. Some called him Nazinger in reference to his willing participation in the Hitler Youth, but why go “godwin” when you don’t have to?

    Bergoglio? I’m already calling him Imbroglio. It fits since we learnt on day one that he participated in the Argentine dirty war for personal gain.

  72. 72
    left0ver1under

    Azuma Hazuki (#44)

    I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or vomit. Is there a word for that feeling?

    A–pope–plexy, mayhaps?

    Speaking of laugh or cry:

    http://youtu.be/tOjpNespgV8

    And speaking of Roger Taylor and fascism:

  73. 73
    Marcion Bruno

    If only – if only! – Hitch were still around to give us his assessment of Bergoglio. Hitch 22 contains some haunting and memorable passages about Argentina in those dark years.

  74. 74
    Lynna, OM

    Salon has posted an article containing the worst of Pope Frankie’s homophobic comments.

    Let’s not be naïve, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.

    The Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family… At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children.

    At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.

    The bill will be discussed in the Senate after July 13. Look at San Jose, Maria, Child and ask them [to] fervently defend Argentina’s family at this time. [Be reminded] what God told his people in a time of great anguish: ‘This war is not yours but God’s.’ May they succor, defend and join God in this war.
    etc.

  75. 75
    Ichthyic

    What is it with these sordid lizard-people and children?

    children are the future. seems an obvious place to strike.

  76. 76
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    You know why I don’t give a flying fuck about Ratzi the Nazi having been 14 at the time?

    See the responses to this utter asshole of a commenter. I think those replies say it better than I can.

    It’s the same reason I didn’t give a flying fuck about all the handwringing that went on over the Superbowl racists on Twitter being JUST CHYLDRUN!!!

  77. 77
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    No, the fact that Ratzi was 14 doesn’t completely excuse the fact that he was in the Hitler Youth. It is, however, an attenuating factor. That is, I feel absolutely no compunction saying that had he been 24 rather than 14, then I would condemn it much more harshly.

    And yes. “conscripted by Nazis as a teenager” is (while horrid) less bad than “willingly cooperated with a junta as an adult.”

    An exchange I overheard while standing in line at the coffeeshop: “What do you think Óscar Romero would say if he were still alive?” “Seriously? Have you ever listened to recordings of his sermons?”

  78. 78
    carbonbasedlifeform

    My word, some of you are consumed by hatred. In the case of Ratzinger, he went into the Hitler Youth because there was an excellent chance his parents would be sent to prison if he did not, he went into the Luftwaffe because he was conscripted. In the case of Bergoglio, we have basically the word of his political enemies that he collaborated in the arrest and torture of those two priests.

    I would hope that if I were accused of crimes, my accusers would have something more substantial than that.

  79. 79
    chigau (違う)

    consumed with hatred

    ?

  80. 80
    David Marjanović

    Out of the 110 or so cardinals voting,

    117, I thought?

    Ratfink appointed eighty four of them

    And JPII, who appointed Popatine, appointed all others. That’s how demographics works.

    I knew a German circus performer who told of being drafted into the German army during the war.

    When during the war? Trying to hide in 1939 certainly had different consequences from hiding in 1945.

    Hark I think I can hear Pilty cumming even from all the way over here!

    :-S If you can hear him, I shudder to think what that implies about his anatomy. :-S

    If this story holds up, and the new Pope turns out to have delivered people up to the junta, it’s a monumental PR faceplant for the church.

    Yeah. It leaves two logical options I can see:

    1) The pope isn’t in fact elected by the Holy Spirit who, uh, inspires the majority of the conclave, he’s really just elected by a bunch of fallible old men. Hm. What else are they wrong about? What have previous popes been wrong about…?
    2) The pope is elected by the Holy Spirit and was in fact the best option, which means you might just as well kill yourself right away – WAIT, don’t do that, because that’d be blasphemy against the Lord over Life and Death. Just wait till you naturally die of depression in this Crapsack World [link to TV Tropes omitted, because then you'd really die of something, heh] and hope for doomsday.

    I think option 1 will prove to be a lot more popular.

    The church can’t do any of that, though. I doubt they had the equipment to search candidates’ names on Google, much less run a thorough background check on them.

    Candidates? What candidates? Technically, there are only write-in candidates! Sure, practically always the cardinals elect one of their own, but in principle every male Catholic is a candidate; it has happened a few times that an eremite was chosen, dragged out of his cave and ordained a bishop.

    (One of those was Coelestin V who, after just a few months, officially decided that a pope can resign and promptly did that. That was in 1294. Dante sent him to hell for that.)

    Instead you have an insular, self-selected group voting based on their perceptions of each other without any outside input. And once the decision is made, there’s no going back. It’s really just asking for a blow-up like the one that seems to be happening.

    No. It’s literally hoping for a miracle.

    THIS IS WHAT SCIENTOLOGISTS
    ACTUALLY BELIEVE

    That’s how it works. That’s what you need to keep in mind. The Catholic Church is not a reason-based organization.

    about how humble he is and how amazing it is that he cooks for himself and get’s the bus to work

    My dad likes to compare him to Patriarch Pavle of the Serbian Orthodox Church: humble, hardly ever goes by car, helps rebuild churches with his own hands, and staunchly, frightfully conservative.

    Ann Widdecombe(opposing abortion, supporting the death penalty)

    o_O Didn’t she get the memo that the Catholic Church doesn’t support the death penalty anymore? Pro-life all the way.

    So, you know, that’s um… that’s something… right?

    It is. And so is the fact that he allows contraception for the prevention of infection.

    In other words, yes, it could have been worse. It could have been a lot worse. Try not to think about it.

    Salon has posted an article containing the worst of Pope Frankie’s homophobic comments.

    Incidentally, Argentina introduced marriage equality soon thereafter.

    You know why I don’t give a flying fuck about Ratzi the Nazi having been 14 at the time?

    Because he had no choice. By the time he joined, it was required by law to join upon reaching the age he did.

    The fact that he was in the Hitler Youth is only evidence that his parents didn’t smuggle him out of the Reich.

    I’ve been repeating this since his election. You aren’t new on Pharyngula.

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