Oh gee the cardinals made a booboo

Ok here we go. Stewart posted the link to a piece from January 2011 in the Guardian, on what the high-ups in the Catholic church in Argentina did to help the miliatary dictatorship get away with crimes against humanity. Is the new pope there? Does a bear shit in the woods?

The extent of the church’s complicity in the dark deeds was excellently set out by Horacio Verbitsky, one of Argentina’s most notable journalists, in his book El Silencio (Silence). 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.




  1. says

    Meet the new Pope. Same as the old Pope. Hiding political prisoners — from people who wanted to free them, not from their persecutors — in his ISLAND HOLIDAY HOME?! How much sleazier can this Church get? Wait, don’t answer that…please…

    So much for the new guy’s beautiful words about unjust distribution of wealth — his past performance was part of the problem, not the solution.

    Perhaps, when they’d ruled out everyone who was at all connected to the child-rape-and-coverup scandal, this guy was the best of what was left. As Will Smith might say, this Church has so gotta die.

  2. Ulysses says

    So the RCC has gone from having a Hitler Youth as fuhrer to having an adult accessory to murder as dictator for life. Stay classy, Vatican.

  3. says


    Joseph Ratzinger was drafted into the Hitler Youth and eventually deserted. Jorge Bergoglio does not have that particular excuse.

  4. Ulysses says

    I’m aware that in 1930s Germany it was mandatory for boys to join the Hitler Youth. So what? Instead of being a Nazi Benny Ratzi was just a common or garden conservative, hungry for power and hating humanity. His successor didn’t have the excuse of being a child or obeying a legal requirement. Francis was a willing, adult accomplice of a murderous, fascist regime.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    michaelbush @ # 3: Little Joey Ratzinger came of age at a time when many German youth were refusing to join the Hitler Youth (look up “Edelweiss Pirates” for one example of their resistance – a movement that was strongest in the Rhineland area where Ratzinger grew up).

    He joined partly as a matter of pressure and partly because the HJ (the H. Youth acronym in German) offered scholarships to Catholic seminaries. Once in, he participated loyally in their activities, including guarding prison camps and manning anti-aircraft batteries (just think – the only Pope known to have fired on US & British troops!).

    As for “deserting” – Ratzinger bugged out only at the very end, when his entire unit and just about all the German military dissolved around him.

  6. says

    @Pierce R. Butler/Ulysses:

    I was not commenting on the validity of Ratzinger’s excuse. I was merely noting that Bergoglio cannot claim anything similar.

  7. says

    Dear Every Religious Institution Ever,

    If your clergy–at any level–have a holiday home, you’re doing it wrong.


    Starving Children

  8. stewart says

    Well, it could have been Simon, but yes, it was me. The Guardian now says it is looking into Verbitsky’s claims more closely, something it did not think to do back in 2011, before Bergoglio had become pope (what I mean by that is: yes, one should scrutinise someone with the power Bergoglio now has more closely; that ought not to translate into publishing serious allegations about a cardinal without looking into them – or in other words, the allegations don’t become more or less true just because Bergoglio became pope). So far, Verbitsky’s reputation as far as telling the truth goes is one hell of a lot more robust than that of the Catholic Church, if you’ll all excuse me for the flagrant understatement.

  9. sailor1031 says

    so this saintly man who goes to work via the metro, this jesuit who has sworn an oath of utter poverty (jesuits have no money and few if any possessions except maybe their clothes) has a private vacation home – on an island? Says it all don’t it?

  10. says

    Oh, you’re kidding me. Look at this, from the new version of the article you linked:

    This article was amended on 14 March 2013. The original article, published in 2011, wrongly suggested that Argentinian journalist Horacio Verbitsky claimed that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio connived with the Argentinian navy to hide political prisoners on an island called El Silencio during an inspection by human rights monitors. Although Verbitsky makes other allegations about Bergoglio’s complicity in human right abuses, he does not make this claim. The original article also wrongly described El Silencio as Bergoglio’s “holiday home”. This has been corrected.

    The section you quoted is completely gone.

  11. Sercee says

    Yup. I was just about to post that very observation. They “corrected” it this morning. I wonder why….

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