Expect continuity more than change
by Sandhya Jain on 26 Mar 2013 7 Comments

When on March 14, 2013, the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose the archbishop of Buenos Aires as new Pope the election was no surprise to the cognoscenti. Soon after Benedict XVI resigned, the German press leaked the details of his election in 2005, which showed Bergoglio was in second place after Cardinal Ratzinger, then seen as Washington’s favourite. Hence, as Hans Atrott, author of Jesus Bluff points out, it did not take genius to infer that the man who was second in 2005 could come first in 2013. Western media, however, projected an array of probable candidates except the closest contender. 


The new Pope, also perceived as Washington’s candidate, is descended from the aggressors whose deadly methods virtually extinguished the Native Americans on both continents and replaced the population with that of the European invaders. Historian David Stannard has documented this genocide in American Holocaust, especially the inventive bestiality of the Spaniards. The church agenda, Atrott warns, is to now successfully violate Asia, besides playing an ‘undercover’ political role on Washington’s behalf in Latin America, including Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. His election closely follows the death of President Hugo Chavez.


The sudden resignation of Benedict XVI on February 11 (he officially bowed out on February 28, 2013) deserves attention. The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State, Brussels, claims that on February 1, on the basis of evidence supplied by its affiliated Common Law Court of Justice, it concluded an agreement with a European nation and its courts for an arrest warrant against Joseph Ratzinger for crimes against humanity and complicity in the criminal activities of the Vatican Bank.


This warrant was to be delivered to the Holy See in Rome on February 15. This unnamed nation sent a diplomatic note to Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone on February 4, regarding the impending arrest warrant and inviting compliance. Pope Benedict resigned six days later.


The agreement between the Tribunal and the said nation included provision for a commercial lien against the property and wealth of the Roman Catholic Church commencing Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013. It was to be accompanied by a global ‘Easter Reclamation Campaign’ whereby Catholic Church property was to be occupied and claimed by citizens as public assets forfeited under international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Tribunal plans to proceed with the indictment and arrest of Ratzinger’s successor as Pope on the same charges, and to continue plans for the commercial lien and ‘Easter Reclamation Campaign’.


In turn, Vatican announced that Ratzinger would remain a permanent resident of Vatican City, which gives him legal protection from prosecution in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, “otherwise he might be defenseless”. This astonishing admission of guilt by the church and direct obstruction of justice adds weight to charges that the Vatican cut a deal with Rome to shield Ratzinger from criminal prosecution, violating international laws ratified by Italy. The ITCCS wants Ratzinger extradited from Vatican City and brought to trial along with his accessories.


Jorge Bergoglio meanwhile, has taken the name Francis I to invoke the reverence inspired by Francis of Assisi, but his reign is already tainted with allegations about complicity during Argentina’s brutal military dictatorship (1976 to 1983). Nearly 30,000 people died or disappeared in this “Dirty War” period. The junta has been accused of dropping two French nuns, Alice Domon and Leonie Douquet, over the River Plate from an aircraft, and stealing babies from pregnant detainees who disappeared, a crime for which General Jorge Videla has since been sentenced to 50 years imprisonment.


Bergoglio headed the Jesuit order from 1973 to 1979 and stood by the regime. His role in the arrest and torture of two young Jesuit priests, Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics, has long been questioned. Argentinean newspaper, Pagina 12, has carried documents suggesting he was in “contact with the military authorities about the insubordination of two of his priests and rumors that they had contact with leftwing guerrilla groups.”


The two were arrested after Bergoglio secretly sacked them from the Order of Jesuits. Yorio, who died in 2000, wrote a report in 1977 saying Bergoglio undermined their work and “we began to question his honesty.” Jalics moved into seclusion in a German monastery, but reportedly spoke to journalist Horacio Verbitsky, author of El Silencio (The Silence). Eduardo de la Serna, coordinator of a left-wing group of priests, says, “I still have many doubts about his role regarding the Jesuits who went missing under the dictatorship”.


The junta led by General Videla was covertly supported by Washington, with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger overseeing the overthrow of the Isabel Peron regime. Wall Street candidate Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, a close friend of David Rockefeller, was appointed Minister of Economy. He duplicated the neoliberal macro-economic policy imposed in Chile in October 1973 by General Augusto Pinochet after the assassination of President Salvador Allende. The economy and people were ruined.


Bergoglio was first accused in 1986 by Emilio Mignone, one of Argentina’s most respected human rights activists. In 2005, human rights lawyer Myriam Bregman filed a criminal suit against the Cardinal, accusing him of conspiring with the junta in the 1976 kidnapping of the two priests. During the trial, Bergoglio twice invoked his right under Argentine law to refuse to appear in open court, and when he testified in 2010, his answers were evasive.


It is notable that after the 1973 coup in Chile, Cardinal Raul Silva Henriquez openly condemned the junta led by Pinochet. The firm stand taken by the Catholic hierarchy helped curb the tide of political assassinations and human rights violations against supporters of Salvador Allende. In sharp contrast, the role of the Argentine Catholic Church during the “Dirty War” was so bad that in 2000, the Episcopal Conference publicly apologized for its failure to stand up to the generals, “We want to confess before God everything we have done badly”.


Ironically, just one week before Bergoglio’s elevation as Pontiff, a major trial opened in Buenos Aires (March 5, 2013) “to consider the totality of crimes carried out under Operation Condor, a coordinated campaign by various US-backed Latin American dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s to hunt down, torture and murder tens of thousands of opponents of those regimes.” Many are now apprehensive about the impact of Bergoglio’s investiture on the ongoing Operation Condor Trial. 

The Pioneer, 26 March 2013

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