US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC :
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | View comments | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
Commentary :: Human Rights
Pope a War Criminal and Hypocrite for Bush
04 Apr 2005
Modified: 04:03:50 PM
"It was a tragedy what the Pope did in Central America and Latin America in the 1980's." The show goes on to cite a number of observers who question whether the pontiff's judgment was clouded by his personal experience with communism in Poland.
Pope a War Criminal and Hypocrite for Bush ]
Pope a War Criminal and Hypocrite for Bush ]
Pope a War Criminal and Hypocrite for Bush ]
A part of this article is now featured at NY Indy:

Pope a War Criminal and Hypocrite for Bush ] ndex.php
Martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero to Become a Saint - John Paul to Be Tried for War Crimes and Genocide;

a Report by Enrique Munoz, CNI correspondent in Mexico City

The defining moment in John Paul's legacy was his unjust and disrespectful treatment of Arch Bishop Oscar Romero in 1980. Romero thought that the church's place was with the poor and to back radical social change to end the suffering and repression.

After meeting with the Pope, Romero said to an aide: " Help me to understand why I have been treated so badly by the Holy Father." The Pope had told Romero to get along with the government of El Salvador that with US money training and moral support was frantically killing priests, peasants and organizers by the tens of thousands yearly.

Romero himself called the Pope's response to his pleas and the situation in El Salvador as "Unjust."

One month later the Arch Bishop was assassinated while saying mass. Romero's funeral turned into a bloody riot as the US-backed death squads (the Salvadoran Government) opened fire on the crowds.

From a letter to President Carter by Oscar Romero:
"You say that you are Christian. If you are really Christian, please stop sending military aid to the military here, because they use it only to kill my people." ero.html

The Pope made similar statements to GW Bush before the illegal and criminal invasion of Iraq.

Millions of people all across Latin America call for sainthood for Oscar Romero.

Next the Pope turned his attention to destroying the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua and the many priests who supported the revolution in the sprit of Romero, particularly Ernesto Cardinal. The Pope put the unity of the church ahead of the salvation of the world and its role to defend the poor.

As a US PBS television special on the Pope stated: "It was a tragedy what the Pope did in Central America and Latin America in the 1980's." The show goes on to cite a number of observers who question whether the pontiff's judgment was clouded by his personal experience with communism in Poland.

The Pope continued his right wing purge of Church officials, seminaries and Liberation theology activists throughout Latin America until his death, though he also increased his attacks on capitalism and the imperialist designs of the US and its hero GW Bush.

Since 1990 the Pope intervened in Mexico - especially in Chiapas - installing conservative Bishops and seeking to discredit or silence Bishop Ruiz and others who supported the Zapatista revolution and called for an end to oppression and oppressive structures in Mexico..

The torment of the Pope - or a grand act of hypocrisy - can be seen in the pope's focus on the Culture of Death: Modernity. He opposed birth control, abortion, homosexuality and women in the church because he ( Unlike anyone we know of on the left or right) understood that these were band-aids seeking to cover up or justify a sick and evil society promoted by the US of materialism and self-centeredness. He said that a self-centered concept of unlimited freedom allowed no place for solidarity and that this drew attention away from the violence done to millions forced into poverty. This freedom top him became a Culture of Death... a new holocaust. He rightfully saw only darkness in modernity and he was appalled at the betrayal of humanity exhibited in his native Poland with their sex shops, McDonalds and materialism.

The Pope changed Eastern Europe and single handedly destroyed the Stalinist Communist system and yet he ultimately saw this as a terrible failure as he witnessed materialism grow there.

In Latin America he stopped the change that was so necessary and surely went to his death knowing the evils that he spawned.

"We agree with almost every single thing that that John Paul wrote or said. He was the greatest and most powerful person to live in at least 100 years and probably ever again given the weakness and disrepute of the Catholic Church today due to the sex scandals.

But what the Pope did was one of the greatest evils in all of history. His systematic destruction of the popular church and Liberation Theologists constitutes a war crime, a crime against humanity and genocide. he should be tried in absentia and all of the church's property and wealth should be transferred to the poor people of Latin America that he persecuted and betrayed so utterly.

Only by acknowledging these crimes - crimes that the Pope did admit to some degree in his trip to Mexico, can the church reclaim its mission and that of Christ for a preferential option for the poor. If the church does not move immediately to recognize Oscar Romero as a saint and the true leader of the church then all Catholics, and all people should boycott and attack this decrepit and evil institution."

Anamaria Salvedra, speaking for the underground remnants of Liberation Theology in Central America.

Remembering Oscar A Romero ml

One priest, Fr. Rutilio Grande, was particularly outspoken in denouncing the injustices against the 30,000 peasants working thirty-five sugar-cane farms in his area. Archbishop Romero defended Fr. Grande against official criticism: "The government should not consider a priest who takes a stand for social justice, as a politician, or a subversive element, when he is fulfilling his mission in the politics of the common good". In March 1977, Fr. Grande and two companions were murdered. Archbishop Romero was summoned to view the bodies - a hint of what happens to meddlesome priests. This and the lack of any official enquiry convinced him that the government employed - or at least supported - people who killed for political convenience. He responded by prohibiting the celebration of Mass anywhere in the country on the following Sunday except at his own Cathedral, a celebration to which all the faithful were invited - and came - overflowing in their thousands into the plaza outside. The event served to unite the faithful and remove any doubts about Romero's commitment to justice. The government of course was furious, even more so as the church began to document civil rights abuses and seek the truth in a country governed by lies. Visiting the Pope in 1979, Archbishop Romero presented him with seven dossiers filled with reports and documents describing injustices in El Salvador.

New pastoral letter blasts economy

Meanwhile, despite the conservative turn of the Mexican hierarchy ecclesiastically, the bishops just recently released a new pastoral letter which denounces the structures of the Mexican economy for being "poverty-generating."

The letter, entitled, "From the encounter with Jesus Christ to solidarity for all," calls on all the people of Mexico to engage the struggle "to build a more just society" (IPS, Mar. 24).

The product of a year's worth of dialogue, input from many social sectors, sharply divided debate, writing and re-writing, it is said to be the broadest and most "consensus-driven document in the last 30 years, [according] to Archbishop Luis Morales, president of the [Mexican] Conference of Bishops."

With Ruiz's departure, Mexico loses one of its last remaining exponents of liberation theology. Bishop Arturo Lona of the Diocese of Tehauntepec in Oaxaca, the last of this line of bishops, turns 75 later this year.

In a recent interview, Lona said that the impact of liberation theology will remain at the grassroots, in base communities and among the poor. It is the poor, he said, who "evangelize us and help us awaken the message of Jesus" (IPS).

He also criticized the "official" church and "my superiors" for their "obsession...with obedience andauthority, which I believe is authoritarian at times. The church is hierarchical, but it really must be democratic, which is not a contradiction."

Former nuncio Prigione, who retired in 1997, has left a staunchly conservative imprint on the hierarchy in Mexico, having overseen the replacement of 86 of Mexico's 100 bishops over his 19 year tenure.

The country's newest nuncio, the recently-named Leonardo Sandri, is also a staunch conservative, opposed to the liberationist line.

The bishops, responding to these economic realities, proclaim that an economic model that prioritizes the market as "the central factor in development," "is unstable and immoral."

The bishops also critique the problems of democracy in Mexico, saying the country must develop alternatives to "anti-democratic and fraudulent structures that are obsolete and unjust, and deteriorated by corruption, impunity and authoritarianism." e_12.htm

-- IRENA ALBERTI, Editor, "La Pensee Rousse," Friend: The Pope believes that the 20th century is the most evil of all of mankind's history.

See also:
See also: e_12.htm

This work is in the public domain
Add a quick comment
Your name Your email


Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.


Re: Pope a War Criminal and Hypocrite for Bush ]
04 Apr 2005

See interesting Intro at (Above link)

John Paul's victory would not last. With the fall of communism, Poland, his heroic country, his Christ of nations, would change, and soon the Pope would come to feel betrayed.

Liberation Theology

BILL BLAKEMORE: When the Pope went to Central America, we asked him on some of those trips, flying into these countries, "What about liberation theology?" And he'd get very stern, and he would say, "It depends on whose liberation theology. If we're talking about the liberation theology of Christ, not Marx, I am very much for it."

NARRATOR: In Poland the Pope fought communism with clarity and grace. But in Latin America he stumbled. In the 1980s the region was gripped by violent civil wars between despotic rightwing regimes and Marxist revolutionaries. Many Catholic priests caught up in the political struggle were apostles of a new "liberation theology." The Pope's repression of their movement revealed a rigid side of his character in this lush tropical landscape.

The first confrontation came early in his papacy with the embattled archbishop of El Salvador, Oscar Romero. Romero was sympathetic to the liberation theologians who claimed that for too long the Catholic Church had aligned itself with the rich and the powerful. They believed the Church's real place was with the poor and its most important mission was to bring about social change.

ROBERT STONE, Novelist: The conditions that existed most egregiously in Central America made it impossible for a person to be a Christian or even completely a human being. People were being denied their humanity, hence they were being denied their capacity for experiencing a God.

CAROLYN FORCHE, Poet: Monsignor Romero acknowledged the injustice of poverty openly. He condemned institutional violence openly. Monsignor Romero said, "The person you are killing is your brother. You have you do not need to obey an order that is contrary to the commandments of God. Refuse. Lay down your arms. You don't have to do this. I beg you, I beseech you, I order you, stop the repression."

Bishop THOMAS GUMBLETON, Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit: The reports that went back to Rome about Romero were that he was too influenced by the revolutionary movement, and there was danger that this country could become communist or Marxist, and if he wasn't stopped, it would be a total disaster for the church.

Archbishop Romero did not accept that interpretation of the whole movement. He saw it really as the poor rising up to try to change their lives in order to be freed of the oppression and the injustice that they were suffering from and

_ but the other Bishops denounced him to Rome.

GIANCARLO ZIZOLA: [through interpreter] When Romero went to the Vatican for his meeting with the Pope, he was forced to wait many days before he was received because the Vatican did not want him to speak to the Pope. And this caused him a great deal of pain.

MARIA LOPEZ VIGIL, Activist, Author: [through interpreter] I saw him in a state of shock. The first thing that he said to me was, "Help me to understand why I've been treated by the Holy Father in the way that he treated me."

GIANCARLO ZIZOLA: [through interpreter] When he finally met the Pope, he showed him photographs of murdered priests and mutilated peasants, and the only response Romero got from the Pope was that Romero had to find an agreement with the government.

MARIA LOPEZ VIGIL: [through interpreter] I am never going to forget it's in my mind the gesture that Monsignor Romero made when he was explaining that to me. He did this gesture. "Look," he said, "that the Holy Father says that the archbishopric must get along well with the government, that we must enter into a dialogue. And I was trying to let the Holy Father understand that the government attacks the people. And if I am the pastor of the people, I cannot enter into good understanding with this government." But the Holy Father was insisting.

I am still seeing Monsignor Romero making that gesture like wanting to things to converge that cannot converge.

Rev. JON SOBRINO, Liberation Theologian: [through interpreter] When Romero told him that the that the church was being persecuted in El Salvador, John Paul said to him "Well, well, don't exaggerate it." And he said to Romero, "You have to be very careful with communism." The result was that Monsignor Romero was very upset. He left the Vatican in tears. It was a sad interview, very sad.

MARIA LOPEZ VIGIL: [through interpreter] It was an injustice. Monsignor Romero did not deserve that.

NARRATOR: One month after his disappointing visit with the Pope, while he was celebrating Mass in San Salvador, Archbishop Romero was murdered at the altar. The assassins were known to be members of a rightwing death squad. Those close to Romero said that he always knew that one day he would be killed.

His funeral, attended by dignitaries from all over the world, turned into a bloody riot when shots were fired into the crowd of mourners. In life, John Paul II had been wary of Archbishop Romero and where he wanted to lead the church in Latin America, but the Pope was appalled by Romero's assassination. He immediately denounced the murder and called Romero a martyr.

Yet many years would pass before he finally visited Romero's tomb. Romero's death did not change the Pope's harsh views toward liberation theology or toward the political activism of his priests in Latin America.

ROBERTO SURO, "The Washington Post": The Pope went to Nicaragua to understand what this "popular church" was, as they called it in Nicaragua, a church that was allied with the aims of the revolution, that identified itself with the poor and identified the church and the Sandinista regime together as the vehicles for lifting up the poor people. This was something that had a lot of the Latin American hierarchy quite worried, and the Pope was hearing that.

BILL BLAKEMORE: He was coming, in effect, from his triumphal visits to Poland into Latin America, saying, "I am dealing with the communists over there. I'm going to deal with them here in Latin America." He scolded on camera and in front of the world the priest Ernesto Cardenal, saying, "You must correct yourself with the church. You cannot be aligned with this political movement." He used both fingers. "You must you must correct this." And Cardenal was doing this, "Yes, yes, yes, Holy Father. Yes, I will."

ROBERTO SURO: There was a very dramatic mass, where the background of the altar, as I remember it, was sort of like a revolutionary mural. It was like, you know, Che Guevara's ghost was wandering around somewhere on the altar there.

JOHN PAUL II: [subtitles] The unity of the Church demands of us the radical elimination ... then you weaken the unity of the church.

Rev. WILLIAM R. CALLAHAN, Writer: In the struggle between the Sandinistas and the church leadership in Nicaragua there were code words, and the Pope began the first 11 paragraphs of his talk with one of those sets of code words. "I say you must live in unity with your bishops." That's the same thing as saying "You must back off from the Sandinista revolution."

People that had the papal colors were shouting "Viva la Papa," and the others were shouting "Queremos la paz" "We want peace." Finally as this would swell up, finally the Pope said what is the Spanish equivalent of "Shut up"? "Silencio." Three times the chanting swelled, and three times the Pope told the people to keep quiet.

JOHN PAUL II: [subtitles] The Church is the first to want peace!

ROBERTO SURO: The man has a bit of a temper and does not brook a lot of impertinence. And he was clearly angry about this. When he came back to Rome, he said, "What the hell is going on in that country? Who are these people? And what kind of church is this?" And the prelates in Rome and the conservative hierarchy in Latin America said, "That's liberation theology. You just saw it."

Well, he saw one very particular, small strain of what was a continentwide movement that had many, many manifestations. This set in motion a very deliberate strategy to crush liberation theology. [ Read more of this interview]

ERIC MARGOLIS, "The Toronto Sun": He moved very quickly to close many institutions that had become hotbeds of liberation theology seminaries, for example, schools, particular churches, things where there had become clusters of sort of Marxism within the church. These were closed. Their personnel were transferred to the Catholic versions of Devil's Island, to all kinds of remote places out of the region.

The Pope then moved in a whole new cadre of administrative and religious personnel to come in and replace these people. So he did a complete clean sweep of the system in Latin America and put his own men in who were responsive and answerable to the Pope. He just cleaned them out.

ROBERTO SURO, "The Washington Post": The subject was not open for discussion. It was not open for exploration. It was not a matter to be researched, debated. It was over.

JOHN PAUL II: [subtitles] I would follow the various orientations outlined by our bishops in their recent document about the theory of liberation.

ROBERT STONE, Novelist: If we look at his point of view and what his job is, it's to hold the Catholic Church together, is to make sure that Mass gets said every Sunday, that kids get baptized, that kids get confirmed, that people get married in church. And for a functioning institution like that to thrive, there's no place for stars or superstars, or maybe just one superstar, and that's him. He's the Pope and they're not, and that's the story.

The Pope knew that at the end of the day, what people wanted from the church was not political and social instruction but the Ten Commandments, sin and how to be against it, and what they traditionally had turned to religion for.

BILL BLAKEMORE: History will be the ultimate judge of this, but it does seem to me that he may have had too simplistic an understanding of just how communist, how Marxist, some of these liberation theology movements in Latin America were.

JAMES CARROLL, Author, "American Requiem," Former Priest: This Pope was needed on the side of the revolution there, so that for one thing, as in Eastern Europe, it could be nonviolent, but so that it could be powerful. And it's a tragedy that this Pope didn't recognize it as such. And I can only understand his failure to do so because he applied to it too narrowly the lens of his own fight against communism.

ROBERTO SURO: You have to wonder what would have happened if he had made a different choice. What would have happened if instead he had said, "There is a way for the church to be a force for social change in Latin America. Let me show you how we might do it and be faithful to my ideals."

There was an opportunity there. There was a moment in the history of Latin America. There was a moment in the history of the church. He decided not to go down the route of change. Instead he chose another route. He chose to end the experimentation, to throttle that initiative. That was his choice, and that's what he'll live with…

Culture of Death

IRENA ALBERTI, Editor, "La Pensee Rousse," Friend: The Pope believes that the 20th century is the most evil, the most tragic, the most dangerous of all of mankind's history.
Re: Pope a War Criminal and Hypocrite for Bush ]
04 Apr 2005
If priests were supporting a communist revolution then they deserved what they got. There should be a separation of church and state. Priests have no business meddling in the political affairs of a country. Is this article supposed to be meaningful discourse? It seems to be incitement for a flamewar.
Latest Update
06 Apr 2005
The exact GPS determined coordinates of the late Karol Wojtila in the Inferno have been finally determined - according to latest wire reports. They are - as many have speculated, Circle VIII, Bolge VI.


In this Bolge are the hypocrites, who are "weighted down by great leaden robes like cloaks with hoods pulled low covering the eyes, weary and defeated, in pain they must walk eternally round and round a narrow track. The robes are brilliantly gilded on the outside and are shaped like a monk's habit, for the hypocrite's outward appearance shines brightly and passes for holiness, but under that show lies the terrible weight of his deceit which the soul must bear through all eternity." If the sinner stops walking their cloak becomes hotter and hotter. These sinners include the likes of the (first) millennium priests as well as televangelists.

Like those of the fifth Bolge, the bridges across this Bolge were knocked down during Christ's descent into Hell. The rockslides that remain must be climbed down and then up to cross this Bolge.