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is this Guardian piece from 2+ years ago in which we read

.What one did not hear from any senior member of the Argentine hierarchy was any expression of regret for the church's collaboration and in these crimes. 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 Argentine 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
Make of it what you will.  

UPDATE  -  I have modified this so that I do not give the impression it was a news story.   It was in an opinion column, that is still accessible at the Guardian, which does put it in a somewhat different status.  It is not clear that the Argentinian journalist whose work is being cited is accurate in what he reports.  And as is pointed out in one of the comments below, the idea of a separate home seems to class with what is publicly known about the man.

that said, I received the link from the story on two different lists, one liberal, one more centrist, which means people are digging, and this is likely to be something that will be around until directly addressed.

I am NOT evaluating it for its accuracy, but since it was and is at the site of a reputable news outlet thought it was worth mentioning.

Originally posted to teacherken on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:33:11 PM PDT

  •  Let me explain why I posted this (8+ / 0-)

    the Guardian is a very reputable publication that has done yeoman work in disclosing secrets that governments have wanted to keep hidden.

    I would presume that since the story was out there, that someone would have addressed it with the papal candidate, but one cannot be sure.

    Also, even though the Guardian is reputable and the Argentinian journalist they cite is described in a positive fashion, I am not in a position to evaluate the charges.

    When Ratzinger was considered a candidate going in to the last conclave, there had been a great deal of vetting of his past, including his membership in a Nazi organization as a teenager.

    I saw no such vetting of the new Pope this time around.

    And even if true, we do not know what he might have extracted in return from the Navy that perhaps saved more lives.

    So it is out there.

    I point at it.

    I do not know how to evaluate it.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:39:47 PM PDT

    •  well, he got into the finals last round (0+ / 0-)

      so if the Rat was vetted, then I'm guessing he was too.

    •  It is out there (5+ / 0-)

      You have put it out there without evaluation or judgment. So it is out there even more extensively. Neither do I know enough about the history or politics or times. Maybe what you've put out there is significant. Maybe this is.

      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.
      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 told Rubin that he regularly hid people on church property during the dictatorship, and once gave his identity papers to a man with similar features, enabling him to escape across the border. But all this was done in secret, at a time when church leaders publicly endorsed the junta and called on Catholics to restore their "love for country" despite the terror in the streets.
      But rights attorney Bregman said Bergoglio's own statements proved church officials knew from early on that the junta was torturing and killing its citizens, and yet publicly endorsed the dictators.
      "The dictatorship could not have operated this way without this key support," she said.
      http://www.npr.org/...

      Maybe both are. Maybe there are elements and nuances that we need to evaluate as more information emerges.

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:14:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Note that Bergoglio is the only source in his (0+ / 0-)

        defense in this piece, while there are multiple accusers of various failings in his dealings with the junta (ex. stolen baby story).

        You show a little grit and you lands in jail.

        by cal2010 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:59:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That isn't the picture being painted for viewers. (4+ / 0-)

    I stopped watching after awhile, but the impression was of a man untainted. Someone who most certainly did not have a holiday home as he eschewed the usual trappings of a man in his position.

    I had high hopes. Now I am sad.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:40:45 PM PDT

    •  see my comment immediately below yours (4+ / 0-)

      it does not seem to agree with what is generally known about his public ministry, and is in an opinion piece, not a news article, which is why I am about to modify the diary

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:44:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maria Hinojosa on NPR this afternoon (8+ / 0-)

      mentioned a lawsuit against Bergoglio in connection with the 1970s disappearance of two Jesuit priests in Argentina.  I've seen photos on facebook of him giving communion to dictator Videla (among the most ferocious and brutal of the lot in Latin America, he who ordered political prisoners drugged and tossed out of airplanes over the sea) and there is an article circulating of him giving an honorary junta member Admiral Massera.

      I'm not certain on this, but it's starting to look like he was in up to his elbows in one of the dirtiest Latin American dictatorships.  Dirty enough to make Ratzinger's childhood in the Hitler Youth nothing more than child's play.

      When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

      by litho on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:02:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "giving an honorary *doctorate to* (4+ / 0-)

        junta member Admiral Massera."

        thinking faster than I can type...

        When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

        by litho on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:04:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  that he gave communion to a political leader (7+ / 0-)

        is not in itself damning - if he saw himself primarily as a pastor he would view giving the sacraments as a means of reaching to the soul of the person before him.

        After all, we have criticized the likes of Bishop Burke for ordering the likes of Kerry not to receive communion in his archdiocese.

        I thought there was enough to raise the issue.  With NPR now addressing it, it seems as if there is more than just one columnist citing one Argentinian journalist.

        the fact that a lawsuit was filed tells me nothing.  I could file a lawsuit against you right now claiming that you had kidnapped Elvis and were denying me the right to hear more song from him.  I would waste my filing fee, and if I were to get a lawyer to file such a suit on my behalf he might find himself being treated as Orly is now treated by many courts.

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:07:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, that honorary doctorate to Massera, though (5+ / 0-)

          and it's looking to me that was the case Hinojosa referred to.  This piece from an Argentine outlet in 2010 gives the details of Bergoglio's involvement.  For example:

          La desmemoria del cardenal seguramente se extiende a un evento ocurrido el 25 de noviembre de 1977 cuando él integraba la plana mayor de la Universidad del Salvador. Ese día, la Usal otorgó al jefe de la Armada, Emilio Eduardo Massera, el título de “doctor honoris causa”, en una ceremonia pública. Los datos de esa distinción al Almirante Cero desaparecieron misteriosamente de los archivos de la Universidad porque allí constan las firmas de quienes lo propusieron y cuáles eran las motivaciones para doctorar a un genocida. Pero, el cardenal hoy no recuerda el decisivo papel que jugó en ese homenaje al mandamás de la Marina.
          In English
          The cardinal's selective memory surely extends to an event that took place on November 25, 1977, when he was a member of the governing board of Salvador University.  That day, the USAL granted Emilio Eduardo Massera, the commander of the Navy, the title of "doctor honoris causa," in a public ceremony.  The details of this distinction given to Admiral Zero  mysteriously disappeared from the archives of the University because in them are confirmed the signatures and the motivations of those who proposed the idea of granting a doctorate to a man guilty of genocide. But the cardinal today cannot recall his decisive role in the homage granted to the Commander of the Navy.
          The journalist goes on to claim that Bergoglio participated in a rightwing Peronist paramilitary organization, la Guardia de Hierro or Iron Guard, and he cites intelligence reports that Bergoglio had proposed purging "leftist Jesuits." As cardinal, he gave governance of Salvador University to his comrades in the Iron Guard.  

          Massera's honorary doctorate was granted about a month after two Jesuits were found drugged and half-naked in a vacant lot following their kidnapping by security forces under Massera's command.  During their six-month imprisonment, they may in fact have been held in the secret prison Massera established at the Navy mechanics school -- one of the most notorious torture sites during the Argentine dictatorship.  One of those kidnapped priests later testified under oath of his certainty that Bergoglio himself had turned over his name, along with those of other leftists in the archdiocese, to the security forces.

          There's more in the article, and awful lot of smoke which all tends to suggest close relations between Bergoglio and the men conducting some of the most horrific crimes of the late twentieth century.  It's very disturbing stuff.

          When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

          by litho on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:47:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Except (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elmo, pvasileff
          that he gave communion to a political leader is not in itself damning - if he saw himself primarily as a pastor he would view giving the sacraments as a means of reaching to the soul of the person before him.
          That he co-authored and presented publicly the Aparecida Document, in the name of all bishops of Latin America, which stated:
          “We should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.”
          Like Burke, he stands against communion for politicians who favor abortion rights in a secular society. It's therefore unacceptable that he would give communion to Videla, who I think falls pretty squarely in the category of "serious crimes against life and family."

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:18:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Um, sorry (0+ / 0-)

          I can't see that it is at all comparable to refuse to give communion to a politician because he is pro-choice, and refusing to give communion to a dictator who is personally responsible for ordering torture and murders.

      •  Hear the heartbeat. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh
        "Midnight, our sons and daughters
        Were cut down and taken from us.
        Hear their heartbeat
        We hear their heartbeat."
        Can Francis hear them?

        GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

        by Attorney at Arms on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:36:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I should also note (4+ / 0-)

    that the piece in question is an opinion piece by one man.  Still, the Guardian put it up and it is still up.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:41:23 PM PDT

  •  Pope John Paul's main contribution (18+ / 0-)

    Was stomping out liberation theology in Latin America.  E new Pope survived that stomping...that tells us all we need to know about where he stood in the schism between establishment and insurgent Catholicism in Latin America...he stood with totalitarian, US backed governments.

    Between John Paul and Ratzinger, the conservatives have appointed pretty much all the archbishops...a conservative was to be expected.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:42:43 PM PDT

  •  Well, we must judge Popes on a curve. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, wu ming

    Even if this were true, he would not be such a bad Pope, relatively.

    •  This (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nirbama

      is like saying Romney was not as bad as Santorum or Perry.

      After thirteen years in Catholic schools, ten years as an altar boy, all that, the fact that we can't expect any better confirms my sense that I don't want any more to do with this organization.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:21:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just reading Wiki posting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Smoh

    on his career, he was not cardinal or even archbishop during the time of Dirty War ('70s and early '80s). Seems to have been an academic mostly during those years. Spent some time in Germany writing doctorate dissertation. Other than that source I'm just guessing like you are.

    Hope others with more info post here.

    •  I tend to doubt it (4+ / 0-)

      remember, he got rid of the limo and rode public transit;  the Jesuits in general did not get along all that well with the military in Latin America;  all evidence, as demonstrated by his public appearance today, is that he is a gentle and humble man.

      we know he criticized priests who refused to baptize children born out of wedlock

      the palace in question may have been while he was provincial of the Jesuits, meaning it belonged to the order, not to him.

      I only posted it because I got it from two different sources and because it is still up at the Guardian, which seems to indicate to me that they did not find anything defamatory therein -  remember, in the UK it is far easier for a public figure to get a judgment of defamation than it is here.

      I don't know how to evaluate it, other than to say it is not merely an internet rumor traced back to a totally questionable provenance.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:02:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From Greg Grandin, history prof at NYU, (5+ / 0-)

        there are enough Argentinians who do hold this man in contempt as the last in a line of Church authority who helped in coverups or "the silence".

        Having dispensed with fighting communists, he's onto gays, takes gay marriage as a struggle between Satan and the fold, gay adoption as "discrimination against children". If he continues to be a voice for the poor and not just through charity, good for him. He has not been vocal about cleaning the church of predators.

        As a Catholic who grew up during Vatican II, it's been all one long retreat since those days. Even JPII, union leader and proponent of work with dignity did very little on those fronts once becoming Pope. Reminds me of some current elected leaders.

        Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

        by the fan man on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:37:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bottom line is that we shall know him by (7+ / 0-)

    his deeds.
      And it is good to remember that some decisions are forced even though the array of options are all evil.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:09:57 PM PDT

  •  Asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BB Jam Fan, Johnny Nucleo

    Um, does not this site light up like a Xmas tree when Drudge or Brietbart or Beck posts a story without at least some research beforehand - and excoriate them when proven wrong?

    So why should we behave the same way?

    Just asking!

    •  See my post, there is backing to this story and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania, protectspice

      anger by Argentinians who remember those days. As I said, having dispensed with fighting communists, he's onto fighting gays.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:40:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Asdf (0+ / 0-)

        Actually, Senaca Doane's diary points out that this man is about as no aggressive towards gays doctrinall y as we can hope for.

        •  Yeah, Jorge's Just Brimming with Love for Us (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          the fan man, protectspice

          The following comes from a letter he wrote in his capacity as Archbishop of Buenos Aires a few days before Argentina legalized same-sex marriage:

          El pueblo argentino deberá afrontar, en las próximas semanas, una situación cuyo resultado puede herir gravemente a la familia. Se trata del proyecto de ley sobre matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo.

          ...[E]stá en juego la identidad, y la supervivencia de la familia: papá, mamá e hijos. Está en juego la vida de tantos niños que serán discriminados de antemano privándolos de la maduración humana que Dios quiso se diera con un padre y una madre. Está en juego un rechazo frontal a la ley de Dios, grabada además en nuestros corazones.

          No seamos ingenuos: no se trata de una simple lucha política; es la pretensión destructiva al plan de Dios. No se trata de un mero proyecto legislativo (éste es sólo el instrumento) sino de una movida del Padre de la Mentira que pretende confundir y engañar a los hijos de Dios.

          He called the legislation something "that could gravely injure the family" (how, Jorge?!). He called same-sex marriage a "move by the Prince of Lies that attempts to confuse and deceive the children of God."

          Same-sex marriage is Satanic?! That sounds so loving to me; I'd better call the Popcorn Factory to get a tin of cheese corn sent to the Vatican...!

          What a pip that ol' Pope Francis is...!!!

          -8.75,-8.00. 1,138 rights and responsibilities of civil marriage are denied married same-sex couples, and I demand that we get them. RIGHT. NOW.

          by CajunBoyLgb on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:06:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree with that assessment. There is no (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elmo

          love there, gay marriage is the work of Satan. That's pretty heavy, even for a Catholic authority. I don't expect the Church to roll over, but that is extraordinarily backwards.

          Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

          by the fan man on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:48:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Which says (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elmo

          all we should need to know about the Catholic Church today. No thanks.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:22:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  there's a bit of difference between the guardian (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nailbanger, protectspice, Remediator

      and breitbart, in terms of the rigor and ethics of their investigative journalism. the story may or may not be accurate as presented, but the guardian's earned themselves consideration, given their reporting over the years.

      •  The "Comment Is Free" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CajunBoyLgb, wu ming

        section gives a forum to people that the editorial board thinks should have their opinions aired, possibly opinions which the editorial board might not stand behind. The Guardian archives remain accessible to a greater degree than American newspapers as well.
        The accusations there should be investigated further, but I am much more concerned with Francis' hard core stands on homosexuality.

        "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

        by northsylvania on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:33:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kidnapping Pope. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice

    This one of many stories that just dropped off the radar in 2005--- the year RATzinger became pope:
    http://articles.latimes.com/...

  •  Francis? (0+ / 0-)

    I was kind of hoping Cardinal Sin would become Sixtus LXVI

  •  Another unflattering piece: (0+ / 0-)

    NPR/AP: Pope Francis: Simple Image, Complex Past

    Bergoglio also was accused of turning his back on a family that lost five relatives to state terror, including a young woman who was five 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: 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.

    You show a little grit and you lands in jail.

    by cal2010 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:38:16 PM PDT

  •  Ancient News (0+ / 0-)

    2,000 year old criminal syndicate remains in control of city state.  

    The church has been complicit in murder since its inception.  It destroyed the ancient world and murdered millions of people when it was formed in the 4th century.  It burned every book it could find.  

    Centuries later it was still killing and torturing. Still destroying free thought.  Still suppressing knowledge and learning.  

    Centuries after that the story was the same.  

    It has been the friend of every tyrant in the West.  

    Surely, you don't think things have changed, do you?  

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 05:17:35 AM PDT

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