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14 March 2013


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William R. Cumming

PL! Myunderstanding is that so-called "Liberation Theology" impacted the Catholic Church in Central and S. America post WWII and wondering how, when, or where the Jesuits were involved? My understanding is that Priests associate with Liberation Theology were out of favor with both right wing political elements and the POPEs. Note I am largely speaking out of ignorance.

I do know that the Catholic Church seems to have outlasted the Castro Brothers. I see Cuba as a key policy issue forthe US in the next several decades, both as a domestic and foreign policy problem. Perhaps am wrong.



There were both Jesuit and Maryknoll clergy prominent in the movement. I used to meet them often when on missions in Latin America in intelligence and/or SF. This man is in that spirit. he is going to shale up the system.pl


Our family is pleasantly surprised, as well. Mom's side of the family is hispanicized Native American (some of use the term Chicano) and we were hoping for a Pope from Latin America.

I had a Jesuit trained college instructor during a summer session many decades ago. He was really something.

Pope Francis sure has his work cut out for him. I'd sure like to see our local archbishop canned but I realize that ain't gonna happen.


The last firebrand elected pope was John Paul I.

I wonder how long this one will last.

The beaver

According to one of the Canadian cardinals, that's where he was staying before the conclave (he also mentioned the fact that he went back to pay his bills this morning before heading to St Maria Major Basilica for prayers)

Auberge Paul VI


The Vatican spokesperson said the pope's name is just "Francis", not "Francis the first". Only after there is a second Francis the distinguishing attribute comes into play.


There may be some dirty secrets lurking in the new Pope's past. Accusations have been made of his connivance with the Navy in the arrest and torture of two priests during the "Dirty War" back in the 70s. It is suggested that the most senior clerics in the Catholoc Church in Argentina may be irremediably tainted by their co-operation with and support for the brutal military dictatorship that had siezed power in 1976 and which fell after the end of the Falklands/Malvinas war. The newly elected Pope Francis I is among those who may be guilty of tolerating or actually actively sypporting a reginme that slaughtered thousands, sometines dropping innocent men and women from airplanes over the River Plate and selling off their orphan children. Among the well documented crimes of the Generals was the murder of two bishops and a number of priests. Yet the most senior clerics masde no protest about the persecution of more liberal elements in the church. When the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights visited Argentina, it is claimed that Jorge Bergoglio, now Francis I, gave free access to the Argentine Navy to his holiday home on an isalnd in the River Plate where they hid a number of political prisoners until the Commission had departed the country.

On matters such as homosexuality, abortion and euthanasia, Francis I has been very much a traditionalist in the Church.

William R. Cumming

Thanks PL! Some wit once stated that you find out a man's real character when he has power! Worth watching closely I suspect.


It is truly difficult to imagine any reason(s) for Cuba to be or to remain a "key" policy issue.
Domestically Cuba is not even important to the current generation of Miamians. Were the old USSR to become relevant again, maybe Cuba could regain its old position as Moscow's Turkey in the Caribbean. Even Myer Lansky and the IRS have written the old mob investments off.
The church is immortal, the Castro family lacks that talent.



you are an evil minded, spiteful man. pl


"You are Peter, and on this rock I shall build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail....." He who is to be the successor to Peter must surely be one who has himself set his face against the powers of Hell. One must hope that Francis I is such a man - but to be aware that there are suspicions that he has not been in the past is neither spiteful nor evil minded. Expect a deluge of "spite" and "evil mindedness" in the next few months fom many people who are in fact very concerned that the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church be led and inspired by a man against whom the Gates of Hell shall not prevail.


Typical lefty crying crocodile tears about what might have maybe happened in a "right wing" but silent on the abbatoir of horrors in communist countries.

Give me a break with this "when you do it ts tragedy but when we do it its just a statistic" bullshit.

Norbert M. Salamon

I look forward to Pope Francis' sermons and encyclicals. The difference in language used by a Jesuit when speaking to a very educated crowd [my father's Funeral Mass where most guests were his previous students at University of Sopron at U of British Columbia, many with advanced degrees 1/2 with PhD-s in Science] in contract with the Pope's experience in Argentina, speaking to the poor and poorly educated will exemplify a very complex person.
I pray that he will be able to address the different cohorts[from Curia to the poor and deprived of Africa, A. and Central America etc] in a language appropriate to each.


Well I am thrilled about Pope Francis and the fact he was a Jesuit,..first time in a while I've been actually thrilled about something!
I wish my Jesuit uncle was still alive to see this.
Stay strong Francis.


Most of this press is being pushed by Horacio Verbitsky, a Jewish centric and guerilla leftist in Argentina, based on a book he wrote called ‘The Silence’...the same old axe grind about Nazi Popes. But the gays,progressives, birth control pill and right to abortion wing et al have joined in Fascist accusations also with tweet attacks.

Pope Francis: questions remain over his role during Argentina’s dictatorship

by News Sources on March 14, 2013

The Guardian reports: As head of the Jesuit order from 1973 to 1979, Jorge Bergoglio – as the new pope was known until yesterday – was a member of the hierarchy during the period when the wider Catholic church backed the military government and called for their followers to be patriotic.

Bergoglio twice refused to testify in court about his role as head of the Jesuit order. When he eventually appeared in front of a judge in 2010, he was accused by lawyers of being evasive.

The main charge against Bergoglio involves the kidnapping of two Jesuit priests, Orland Yorio and Francisco Jalics, who were taken by Navy officers in May 1976 and held under inhumane conditions for the missionary work they conducted in the country’s slums, a politically risky activity at the time.

His chief accuser is journalist Horacio Verbitsky, the author of a book on the church called “El Silencio” (“The Silence”), which claims that Bergoglio withdrew his order’s protection from the two priests, effectively giving the military a green light for their abduction.

Verbitsky claims are based on conversations with Jalics, who was released after his ordeal and later moved to a German monastery.

Bergoglio has called the allegations “slander” and holds that, on the contrary, he moved behind the scenes to save the lives of the two priests and others that he secretly hid from the death squads. In one case, he claims he even gave his identity papers to one dissident who looked like him so that he could flee the country.’’

All the stuff about every Pope being a Nazis or fascist piece of crap is getting old. I seriously doubt he gave any fellow Jesuits over to the junta. However it is totally in keeping for the church, particularly the Jesuit wing , to act as a quasi- neutral political body to maintain some influence and entrée with whatever government in order to make deals or operate behind the scenes in the Church’s and it’s members own interest or to help the population. A scenario I can imagine is that he may have made some deal after the 2 Jesuits were picked up whereby they be kept 'safe' in jail and not killed to keep the government off the others there...I can also imagine that the 2 Jesuits could have been doing some 'leftist resistance' errands along with their ministering to the poor....so likely a deal was made that kept them from being executed and they eventually were released. If Francis handled that I call it being smart, not fascist.

Babak Makkinejad

His allegations against the Pope's role in the :Dirty War" in Argentina is most likely suppositions but not his broader point about the Church in Argentina (and Chile) are probably correct.

The Church "Lost It" in those 2 countries - unlike El Salvador where the Church redeemed itself through the martyrdom of Archbishop Romero.


"...it is claimed..." As the old song says, talk is cheap when the story is good. I read the same thing by some lefty professor in California. Apparently repeating an accusation by some other professor who wrote a thesis about dictatorships is all that is needed for proof of guilt, because hey, the guy making the actual acquisition got a phd.


Apparently there are plenty of acolytes of the secular left waiting for Diogenes to point out who they are supposed to follow. "St." Barack hasn't turned out quite so well for them and they sure as heck aren't holding his feet to the fire.


I say God bless him in all of his endeavours.


Agreed. So tired of seemingly decent people not even being given a chance in our current gotcha culture. The conduct of war and diplomacy is at best an opaque enterprise that a newspaper subscription or access to a blog cannot illuminate. Living in a country of despots, and managing to survive with integrity, is a feat I can only poorly imagine. To expect that a person would be elevated to the Papacy advocating positions in direct contradiction to current Church teachings is absurd.

I think that we have the best Pope that the conclave could currently have elevated. Let's give the guy a chance and judge him later on his intentions and actions.


"The newly elected Pope Francis I is among those who may be guilty ..."

He may be, or not. Do you care?


Evil has no political orientation to left or right. Satan is indifferent to political labels. Thge movement to overthrow the evils of communism in Europe was inspired by numbers of clerics, Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox. Cardinal Wojtyla and Cardinal Mindszenty set their faces against the evils of tyrannical regimes in Poland and Hungary. Wojtyla, as John Paul II became a worthy successor to Peter and an inspiration in the fight against left wing dictatorships. They are golden examples to all clerics who are proclaiming Christian values in lands that have suffered the injustices and cruelties of dictatorship. Is it "lefty" to hope that the accusations that Francis I connived at, or failed to oppose, the brutalities of the Generals' regime turn out to be false.

Bobby Murray

This "typical lefty" is excited, hopeful and heartened about Pope Francis the First, Tyler. :)

Kindest Regards,
Bobby Murray

Charles I

I have just heard that very kind of speculation in the media upon the revelation that Pope Francis I only has, at age 76, one lung.

Charles I

the Curia. . .were I Pope the reformer my first acts, well maybe 3rd or 4th, would be to move Benedict Emeritus Pope out of the Vatican completely decapitate the Curia.


Im amazed Mike knows enough about the new Pope to feel confident to comment so negatively.

Besides, its worth remembering that past sin is no barrier to current piety? Love, forgiveness and atonement are the very essence of catholicism.

Tyler, I dont know how this is a left right thing. What did Mike say that gave the game away? Is it the reference to homosexuality?

Bill H

I was hoping that someone more learned than I would present this argument but, my novice condition notwithstanding, did not Jesus say something about "Render unto Caeser that which is Caeser's," etc? The point that I draw from that is that it is not the role of the Body of Christ to interfere with secular governance, and that Francis in Argentina should not be held responsible for the predations of Peron. Attacking civil governance was not his role; in his role as a church leader his purpose was to "render unto God that which is God's."

That is not to say that Christains should not involve themselves in governmental affairs, it is entirely proper to do so, but there is a distinction to be made that doing so is a separate role than that they fulfill as a member of the Body of Christ.

Perhaps someone more erudite will amplify and/or set me straight.

Clifford Kiracofe

We now have to watch the appointments he makes.

With Benedict's resignation, all the top Curia lost their jobs as their jobs depend on the person of the Pope. Benedict pulled the plug on them. So Francis is now faced with filling those posts with upright men. This is an opportunity and a challenge.

Reform of the Vatican bank would seem more a technical issue and European and international entities can assist this process which Benedict in fact started.

As to economics, he also has the opportunity to lead in the area of social justice with respect to issues involving the international financial system, corporate misbehavior, and poverty. He has seen all that first hand in Argentina over the years and has spoken out plainly.

Reform of the Curia is another matter and the 300 page 2 volume dossier the three cardinals put together on this may have some decisive influence on this process.

Evangelization and re-evangelization is also another matter and a difficult and complex one. But Francis has been close to the masses during his life and understands parish level issues real people have.

The Holy Father seems off to a very good start and he certainly has the energy and rigor for profound reform.


Vatican answers charges against Pope Francis.



You are presenting innuendo and rumor as fact, and are coming across as hysterical, only now adding the disclaimer at the end.

In other words, you're full of shit.


The "Dirty War" accusations seem to come from the usual NPR/MSNBC/PBS left wing media echo chambers, with the basis being something they might have heard maybe from someone at one time. Possibly.

Its just another angle to beat up Catholics because they don't submit to the will of cultural marxism, much like how we're still hearing about the sex abuse scandal in every breath, but sex abuse in our schools and among other religious communities is uncommented upon.


They're more than suppositions, I regret to say.


There's a lot we don't know. My guess, or hope, is that Bergoglio was neither the best nor the worst at a very bad time. (At least one Vatican watcher I read was surprised at the choice of Francis, given that this history was bound to become an issue. The Church in Argentina has never fully recovered, apparently.)


You are right: actually, I don't care one way or the other. I suppose as a (lapsed) Catholic, I ought to care, but there you are, I do'nt give a monkey's. I merely watch the decay of the Catholic church from afar as an interesting historical phenomenon. I have lived long enough to see the (entirely welcome, for contrary to the naive assumptions of so many here, I have no "lefty" sympathies) demise of the Bolshevik amd Marxist system that held Europe and Asia in terror until it collapsed almost overnight; and seeing poor old Ratzinger give up in despair, and shuffling away to his Vatican retirement home because he was too old, tired, and physically weak to take arms against the sea of troubles facing the church, I realised the time was up for the Holy Roman Church. Then when Francis I came out on to the balcony, 76 years old, one lung, and plainly bemused and perhaps terrified by what had befallen him, I saw no promise and no invitation that would make me and hundreds of millions of other lapsed Catholics return to the "panting heart of Rome" and start going to regular Mass and all the other rituals. In five years time there will probably nbe two popes emeriti (if Ratzinger is still alive)anda new stopgap will be elected, and in twenty, the great corrupt senile Latin speaking fancy dress party that calls itself the Universal Church Catholic Church will be as extinct as the Habsburg Empire or the Communist Bloc. Ave atque Vale.

Medicine Man

An article in the Miami Herald that sheds some light on this: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/15/3287440/priest-kidnapped-by-junta-reconciled.html#storylink=cpy

Not all as clear cut as Mike claims, but that's no surprise.

Medicine Man

I'm a little mystified by the existence of a Vatican bank myself. Should the Church even be in the money-lending business?


Bill H

Permit a question from someone who has no direct experience of the Church and, generally speaking, lttle interest in its doings. It concerns the meaning of that famous quote about "rendering unto...." What does it mean to bear witness when the perpetrator of inhame acts may be an official of the Church? At what point do those acts become mortal sins to be actively opposed as well as rejected as blasphemy by the Church? As best I understand, Jesus' views about established religion (based on the preponderance of his credible sayings) made no reference to a priesthood - much less an organized church. Like most religious prophets, he was most concerned about how one's inner spiritual life could be corrupted by the profane affairs of the world.

So, when the Church associates itself with temporal powers who act in ways contrary to His teachings, what is a Christian's duty? To provide succor, spiritual or material, to a victim of oppression is pretty obvious. Is he obliged, beyond that, to bear witness directly and personally by joining the sufferers? To share their affliction? If he is a figure of spiritual authority in the Church that he sees as Christ's Vicar on earth, is this obligation greater?

Any thoughts about this would be appreciated.



Dr. Brenner is not a Christian and there is no reason why he should be be particularly or sympathetically concerned with the fate of the Catholic Church.

In fact the church cites the passage in the Gospel in which Jesus supposedly says that "thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not previal against it. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Was this passage an authentic part of the Gospel text? I know not. pl

Norbert M. Salamon

Peter's Pence accumulates to the Vatican and slowly dispersed. There is always some capital available, and in today's world of fiat money [and consequent corraly of inflation] demands that any funds not needed for immediate use [wages, charities, repair and maintanence] be invested wisely. Hopefully the Vatican Bank would be ran as a "public Service" and not as an investment bank a la the 5 great corrupt entities in the USA [and some others world wide].

Norbert M. Salamon

Nice quotation Colonel, the authencity of the NT as the OT, and numerous other religons' basic texts are all taken on faith, for all were composed at a time of the oral tradition, often long after the described event. While studying the history of the Bible [as a historical issue, not as the basis of our faith] at a Catholic University, no Priests, our professors, were certain of the date of the composition of any part of the Bible, or any Book therein [this was 50 years ago].

Clifford Kiracofe

Some context for the 1970s terrorist era in Argentina, a description of the Montonero terrorist organization operating in Argentina at the time:


Data on its leader, Mario Firmenich:


Argentina is a complicated place. I would suggest that there were different elements within the Theology of Liberation networks. Some were linked to the terrorists and "revolutionary" violence and some were not. There were different elements in the right and extreme right also, civilian, clerical, and military. Some of these took extreme measures, some did not.

I spent a month or so there during the Malvinas War.

Clifford Kiracofe

Very good question. Wiki has a pretty good overview which indicates the function is not money lending but rather a mechanism to handle some types of Church needs. It is of 19th century origin and its modern form seems developed in post WWII era.

Seems to me that it is really a technical matter to straighten it out, or simply get rid of it and start over.

It take it that the money laundering is done by the Italian mafias and other organized crime entities. This raises the issue of the relationship of organized crime to certain persons in the Vatican. Presumably data on this is available to the new Pope Francis in the two volume secret study by the three cardinals locked in a safe in the Popes rooms.



sure, Catholics take the authenticity of the gospel on faith, but they recognise that it requires a learned interpretation. The Catholic faith is sceptical enough of man as to not take a work of man, the scripture, verbatim as the word of God. There is wisdom in that.

In that context I refer to the deep wisdom of Sindbad as iirc expressed by Kerwin Mathews: Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.

Charles I

My only thought is that however strong one's faith, we are all only human and doing one's "duty" unless a perhaps complete ascetic, is a
Sisyphean task.

Tyler may have 100% faith but I'm operating here apparently with only 15% of my consciousness, which is the only portal I have to my concept of Faith, ergo 85% of my constructs, are dark matter. I, however indignant a lefty -although I was a righty at the time of the Dirty War - must forgive those who negotiated, rather than created that hell.

Anything else would be, er Unchristian. the Generals can burn in hell with me though.

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