Catholic Church actually supported Chilean dictator.

Catholic Church actually supported Chilean dictator. April 16, 2013

Meet Augusto Pinochet, Chilean dictator from 1973-1990.  Not a very nice guy.

From the beginning, the government implemented harsh measures against its political opponents. According to various reports and investigations 1,200–3,200 people were killed, up to 80,000 were interned, and up to 30,000 were tortured by his regime including women and children.


By the time of his death on 10 December 2006, about 300 criminal charges were still pending against him in Chile for numerous human rights violations, tax evasion, and embezzlement during his 17-year rule and afterwards. Pinochet was accused of having corruptly amassed a wealth of US$28 million or more.

So here we have a guy who solidified his power by killing and otherwise punishing his opponents and who procured extravagant wealth through corrupt means.  Because this is so similar to how the Catholic Church secured its power, you can imagine how they’d want to separate themselves from Pinochet.  Which they did publicly…however, thanks to wikileaks, we now know that the Holy See told the State Department and Henry Kissinger that they supported Pinochet.

The Vatican once dismissed reports of massacres by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as “Communist propaganda”, according to US diplomatic and intelligence documents from the 1970s leaked on Monday.

One cable dated October 18, 1973 sent to Washington by the US embassy to the Holy See relayed a conversation with the Vatican’s then deputy Secretary of State, Giovanni Benelli, the leak by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks showed.

Benelli expressed “his and the pope’s grave concern over successful international leftist campaign to misconstrue completely realities of Chilean situation,” read the cable to then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

“Benelli labelled exaggerated coverage of events as possibly greatest success of Communist propaganda,” it said, adding that the Italian monsignor said this showed “how Communists can influence free world media in future”.

And just as recently as 2010 the Catholic Church in Chile was seeking the release of imprisoned accomplices from Pinochet’s regime.

This is incredibly odd behavior if the Catholic Church is representative of a loving god’s will on earth.  Of course, stuff like this is exactly what we’d expect to see if the Catholic Church was a political organization interested primarily in its own power, run by corruptible mortals.

I’d ask Mark Shea or Thomas McDonald for an explanation, but they tend to go quiet about stuff like this.

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  • Edward Hara

    I love the rantings of armchair quarterbacks who have not lived through the scenarios that they decry. Let’s look at the known history we have and see what the Church was facing in Chile (and the rest of the world).

    On the one hand, you have Pinochet. Nasty, horrible little guy, probably screaming in hell right now, which he deserves. However, he tolerates the Church and will not attack it.

    On the other hand, you have the Communists. A bunch who are equally as nasty as Pinochet, if not moreso. The Church KNOWS that if they are in power, they will round up and shoot all Catholics and burn the churches to the ground (or turn them into whorehouses). Communists will kill Christians for no reason at all other than the fact that they do not like Christians. This is fact — this is history.

    So what is the Church supposed to do? Opt out? Or protect itself by choosing the lesser of two evils in that situation.

    What would you have done, big mouth????

    • Cake

      Nice!I like your new motto for the church: The Catholic Church, we’re the lesser of two evils.”

    • You … do realize that Allende was a Socialist (not Communist) of a very nice stripe (strong progressive taxation, strong social safety nets, land redistribution, etc) who was democratically elected in free and fair elections and had absolutely no interest or political platform of religious suppression, right?

      The Catholic Church picked the evil it didn’t know over the good it did know. That’s pretty horrific in my book.

  • Edward Hara

    By the way — we Catholics in the USA face a very similar situation today. On the one hand we have Conservatism — supportive of greed Capitalism, oppression of workers, unlimited and continuing warfare around the world, and the oppression of the poor and needy. Very odious people.

    On the other hand, we have the Socialists, Democrats, and Obammaites, who claim that they are “for the people” and oppose the above practices. We Catholics KNOW — based on the continuing restrictions on our religious freedoms and the history of Socialists against Christians — that if the Obama / Trotskyists get their way in this country, they will kill us, burn our churches to the ground, and destroy every Bible they can get their hands on.

    So… odious and disgusting as Conservatism is, I will nonetheless support it because they will not kill me in my sleep like Obama and his minions wish to do.
    And the reason they will do this is because the Church will not bend the moral rule of the universe and say that fornication, homosexuality, and sex on demand are okay. There is an old saying which I find to be very true: “All atheism begins below the belt.” Once you start telling people there is a distinct moral code which must be followed — all hell breaks loose.

    • Zinc Avenger

      “Both sides will commit genocide so vote Republican”?

    • RobMcCune

      So… odious and disgusting as Conservatism is, I will nonetheless support it

      Well you’re already catholic, so supporting a second group of odious disgusting people can’t be that hard.

      There is an old saying which I find to be very true: “All atheism begins below the belt.”

      Probably because people who believe that have their head up their ass.

      Once you start telling people there is a distinct moral code which must be followed — all hell breaks loose.

      Case in point look at the distinct moral code the catholic church insists must be followed.

    • So many factual errors, so little time.

      Socialists are not Democrats are not Obamaites (who don’t exist outside your imagination, so far as I can tell) are not Trotskyites.

      Seriously. Not. The. Same. Thing. In fact, it’s so wrong it’s the same as saying that libertarianism, republicanism, conservatism, Tea Party reactionism, and fascism are all the same thing.

      And any time you impute the desire to “kill [you] in [your] sleep” to your political opponents, you have gone waaaay past rational opposition and into cuckoo-crazy-lala-land. I despise almost everything conservatives and conservatism stands for, but I certainly don’t think they are wrong out of malice towards me or any real desire to hurt me. Their policies will hurt me, of course, and they often don’t care about me getting hurt, but they’re not animated by a desire to hurt me and they certainly don’t want to commit casual murder. Conservatives are just … wrong. Factually, morally, logically, and empirically wrong. Isn’t that enough? Why do you think I have to demonize them too?