Lest We Forget the Victims: The Catholic Church’s Complicity in the Croatian, Argentine and Rwandan Atrocities

On June 2, Pope Francis completed his visit to a third Balkan country this year and the sixth in that region during his pontificate, but not Croatia. Since his election, the pope has also traveled to ten Latin American nations but not Argentina, and three in Africa but not Rwanda.

Nevertheless, the millions who were tortured and killed must not be forgotten.

CROATIA

During World War II, Jasenovac was the third largest concentration camp in Europe by number of victims. It was operated by the German-allied and Catholic Ustaša government “whose sadistic cruelty outdid Nazi tortures,” as noted by the Jasenovac and Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

The Holocaust Education and Research Team wrote about Jasnovac:

Here the most varied forms of torture were used. Finger and toe nails were pulled out with metal instruments, eyes were dug out with specially constructed hooks, people were blinded by having needles stuck in their eyes, flesh was cut and then salted.

People were also flayed, had their noses, ears and tongues cut off with wire cutters, and had awls stuck in their hearts. Daughters were raped in front of their mothers; sons were tortured in front of their fathers.

The prisoners had their throats cut by the Ustaša with specially designed knives, or they were killed with axes, mallets and hammers; they were also shot, or they were hung from trees or light poles. Some were burned alive in hot furnaces, boiled in cauldrons, or drowned in the River Sava.

“The acts of violence and depravity committed in Jasenovac were so brutal that General von Horstenau, Hitler's representative in Zagreb, wrote: ‘The Ustaša camps in the NDH are the Epitome of horror!’" stated the Holocaust Research Project.

“According to figures from the International Commission for the Truth on Jasenovac more than 700,000 Serbs, 23,000 Jews and 80,000 Roma were killed between 1941 and 1945. Of those victims 110,000 were children under the age of 14 … During World War II, the only place where there were special camps for children was Croatia.”

“It is well known that many Catholic priests participated directly or indirectly in the Ustaša campaigns of violence.” (Michael Phayer, The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930–1965, pp 34-35)

For the Ustaša, “relations with the Vatican were as important as relations with Germany because Vatican recognition was the key to widespread Croat support.” (Phayer, Church p 32)

Ante Pavelic, the “Butcher of the Balkans,” had already been convicted in France for planning the 1934 assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia and French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou “when he was received in a private audience by Pope Pius XII in May 1941 shortly after becoming dictator of Croatia. After receiving the papal blessing, Pavelic and his Ustaša lieutenants unleashed an unspeakable genocide in their new country. But Pius XII refused to cut his ties with Catholic Croatia and in 1943 once again imparted the papal blessing on Pavelic, who by that time was a genocidal killer.” (Michael Phayer, Pius XII, The Holocaust, and the Cold War, p 219)

Pius XII could not plead ignorance to these atrocities. “Both the nuncio [Vatican ambassador] and the head of the [Croatian] Church, Bishop Alojzje Stepinac, were in continuous contact with the Holy See while the genocide was being committed.” (Phayer, Church p 30)

As an Allied victory became more certain, two distinct ratlines developed, both operated by Catholic priests with Vatican support. One helped German war criminals escape prosecution. The other, operated by Vatican agent Fr. Krunoslav Draganovic to help Croatian war criminals to escape, “reveals the direct involvement of Pius XII himself.” (Phayer, Pius XII, p 233)

Draganovic had served as an army chaplain with the rank of lieutenant colonel at Jasenovac. After the collapse of the Ustaša regime, Draganovic returned to his base in Rome to establish his ratline. (Phayer, Pius XII, pp 231-232)

As one U.S. Army intelligence report put it, “in many instances it was hard to distinguish the activity of the Church from the activity of Draganovic …. All intelligence agents involved in the case, regardless of nationality, believed by 1947 that Ante Pavelic had found refuge in a Vatican property or properties.” (Phayer, Pius XII, pp 222-223)

In June 1947, “an American diplomat working in the Buenos Aires embassy wrote to the State Department deploring the fact that ‘the Vatican and Argentina [are conniving] to get guilty people to haven in latter country.’” (Phayer, Pius XII, p 194)

ARGENTINA

The Dirty War (1976-1983) shocked the conscience of the world. In the aftermath of a military coup, the junta was "brutal, sadistic, and rapacious,” wrote Marguerite Feitlowitz in her book, A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture. “Tanks roaring over farmlands, pregnant women tortured, 30,000 individuals ‘disappeared.’"

There was a “vast scale of atrocities committed … child murders, random abductions, concentration camps, mass executions, and a harrowing array of other daily war crimes,” stated Feitlowitz.

Mostly, “the targets were social workers, social work students, militants, trade unionists, writers, journalists, artists and anyone suspected to be a left-wing activist,” wrote Nigel Hall, Human Rights Commissioner for the International Federation of Social Workers. “Many people, both opponents of the government as well as innocent people, were ‘disappeared’ in the middle of the night. They were taken to secret government detention centers where they were tortured and eventually killed.”

Escuela Superior de Mecánica de la Armada (Navy Petty-Officers School of Mechanics or ESMA), “located in the heart of Buenos Aires approximately two blocks from the 1978 World Cup Stadium,” was the largest of Argentina’s more than 520 clandestine detention centers. As stated by the ESMA Site Museum:

Crimes against humanity were committed here making this building a symbol of the genocide that took place in our country. The Navy kidnapped, tortured and disappeared more than 5,000 men and women at ESMA. By the time it was shut down, only 150 victims survived....

This particular torture center immediately split families upon their arrival, murdering the mothers as quickly as possible. From there, victims would travel to the basement that housed the majority of the torture. Pregnant women were kept alive until they gave birth. Thousands of prisoners were thrown alive into the sea during the so-called ‘flights of death.’

Raúl David Vilarino, a junior Navy officer, described what he saw in ESMA.

The torture chamber had electric prods, the iron wirework of a bed connected to an outlet of 220 volts, an electrode of 0 to 70 volts, chairs, presses, pointed or cutting instruments, bicycle tires filled with sand that could be used to give blows without leaving a mark and everything imaginable that could be used for torture...

With pregnant women they introduced a small spoon or some other metal instrument until it touched the fetus. Then they gave the woman an electric shock of 220 volts. In a word, they electrocuted the fetus....

Women especially [sufferd] burning with cigarette stubs, pulling or pinching the skin, beatings. Every kind of sexual abuse and torture, rapes, and the technique especially designed for pregnant women described above....

The principal doctor was Dr. Alberto, who liked to be called Mengele. He was in charge of all the tortures and displayed the greatest zeal of all in carrying them out. There was Dr. Magnasco, gynecologist, who together with Mengele had thought up the torture for pregnant women. José Luis, the odontologist, extracted molars from the dead – and some who were not completely dead - in order to conceal their identities.

Vilarino assigns the greatest responsibility to Admiral Emilio Massera, commander-in-chief of the Navy.

From the beginning, the Church was complicit with the junta.“On the eve of the March 24, 1976, coup, military leaders Jorge Videla and Ramón Agosti visited Archbishop Paraná Adolfo Tortolo and Monsignor Victorio Bonamín. Tortolo reported, ‘General Videla adheres to the principles and morals of Christian conduct. As a military leader he is first class, as a Catholic he is extraordinarily sincere and loyal to his faith.’ He also said that when confronting subversion, the military should take on ‘hard and violent measures,’” reported Horacio Verbitsky in his book, El Silencio: De Paulo VI a Bergoglio. Las Relaciones Secretas De La Iglesia Con La Esma (The Silence: From Paul VI to Bergoglio: The Secret Relations Between the Church and the ESMA).

Marine captain Adolfo Scilingo, who led the ‘vuelos de muerte’ or death flights, was sentenced to 645 years in prison by a Spanish court. He told Verbitshy "that the Catholic hierarchy approved drugging dissidents and dropping them from planes into the Atlantic Ocean as a Christian form of death. When Scilingo felt anguished after directing these death flights, he would seek counseling from military chaplains at the ESMA.”

“A document from 1978 details a meeting between the Conferencia Episcopal Argentina (Argentine Bishops’ Conference or CEA) Executive Committee and Jorge Videla, the then de facto president. The document summarizes the discussion between Videla, Cardinal Raúl Primatesta, Archbishop of Córdoba; Vincente Zazpe, Archbishop of Santa Fe; and Cardinal Juan Aramburu, Archbishop of Buenos Aires," wrote Piere-Louis Le Goff in his article “The Role of the Church Argentina” written for the Brown University Library.

“The report, which was written and sent to the Vatican following the meeting, was ‘surreptitiously obtained’ and published in Página/12 by the revered investigative journalist Horacio Verbitsky. It confirms that at the time, the CEA and the Holy See were both fully aware of the systematic assassination of those detained by the military,” noted Le Goff.

Via the report of this meeting “Pope John Paul I was informed that the disappeared no longer lived in secret places but were exterminated by the dictatorship …. In that text Cardinal Primatesta made it clear that ‘the Church wants to understand, cooperate, that is aware of the chaotic state in which the country was,’” noted Juan Ignacio Irigaray.

The revelation of the 1978 report “comes only four months after Videla confessed to his collaboration with the Church hierarchy in an interview for the Spanish magazine Cambio 16, in which he described their relationship as ‘excellent, very cordial, sincere, and open,’” Le Goff stated.

“Videla said there were also conversations with the country’s papal nuncio [ambassador] at the time, Pio Laghi,” reported Tom Hennigan. “Accusations of collaboration with the junta also dogged the subsequent career of Laghi, who had been a regular tennis partner of the Navy’s representative in the junta, Admiral Emilio Massera. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo human rights group tried to prosecute him in Italy for his involvement with Argentina’s dictatorship but the effort failed,” wrote Hennigan.

While Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was the Jesuit provincial of Argentina, the Jesuit Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires awarded an honorary doctorate to Massera on November 25, 1977. It was “inexcusable” for Bergoglio to honor Massera, head of ESMA where “thousands of young Argentines were tortured and murdered in a reproduction of Auschwitz,” Roberto Pizarro, Dean of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Chile wrote. For Bergoglio to have “cultivated a relationship” with Massera is a “stain” on his record for which “Argentines, the Jesuits and the two hundred billion Catholic in the world deserve an explanation,” stated Pizarro.

“Around 1974, ’75, ’76, many Jesuits and other kinds of priest started abandoning the great congregations to go live in the poor neighborhoods called ‘misery villas,” explained Fr. Eduardo de la Serna, coordinator of the group, Priests for the Option for the Poor. “Bergoglio was adamantly opposed to that. He became the main detractor of that movement of priests,” said de la Serna.

Bergoglio was a “well-known critic of liberation theology” (i.e. the Church should have a fundamental option for the poor) wrote Ivone Gebara, one of Latin America’s leading theologians. “In the informal [2013] pre-conclave discussions, Bergoglio’s profile as a Jesuit known for resisting the liberalizing currents in the order in Latin America during the 1970s was a selling point,” noted John L. Allen Jr., a respected Vatican reporter.

The part Bergoglio played in the abduction of his priests, Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalic, was first published by Emilio Mignone, “the most prestigious Catholic human rights advocate” in his book, Iglesia y dictadura (Church and the Dictatorship 1986).

“Some members of the Church hierarchy adopted a strategy of ‘squalid complicity,’ according to Mignone. He recounts that, shortly before the 1976 coup d'etat, the representatives of the three army corps, the president of the CEA and Archbishop Adolfo Tortolo, bishop of the armed forces, had negotiated that when the military wanted to arrest a priest, the bishop was to be consulted beforehand.’”

The military “did the dirty work of cleaning up the inside of the Church” wrote Mignone. Priests, nuns and other workers considered to be “leftist” because they “denounced the junta” or just by working with the poor - thereby considered as troublemakers and undesirable by their bishops - were “disappeared.”

“Sometimes the green light to the perpetrators was given by the bishops themselves,” Mignone stated.

On May 14, 1976, seven youths who were doing social work in a shantytown were kidnapped by Navy commandos. They had been working along with the Jesuit priests Orlando Yorio and Francsco Jalics. One of those kidnapped was Monica Maria Candelaria Mignone, Emilio Mignone’s daughter. All were taken ESMA. None of the seven were ever seen again. Mignone’s book is based on ten years of an all-consuming investigation into his daughter’s disappearance.

A week later, Yorio, Jalics and other social workers were abducted.

Mignone wrote that Bergoglio, who as Jesuit provincial held a rank similar to bishop, had criticized Yorio and Jalics. “These attacks served in part as a basis, according to Mignone, for the arrest, imprisonment and torture of the Jesuit priests between May and October 1976, when they were released.” reported Miguel Angel Villena.

Verbitsky agreed. “Bergoglio withdrew his order’s protection of the two men after they refused to quit visiting the slums, which ultimately paved the way for their capture,” he wrote in The Silence: From Paul VI to Bergoglio: The Secret Links Between the Church and the Navy Mechanics School.

After being taken to ESMA, “Yorio and Jalics were blindfolded, shackled, drugged, and threatened with electrocution .... They were freed five months later, in late October 1976, after being drugged and abandoned in an open field,” reported Sam Ferguson, a visiting fellow at the Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School and a former Fulbright Scholar.

“Mignone refers to the lukewarm or complicit attitude of prelates like Bergoglio when he wrote: ‘What will history say of these shepherds who delivered their sheep to the enemy without defending them or rescuing them.’”

In the 2010 criminal trial of eighteen officers who had worked at ESMA, Maria Elena Funes, one of the workers kidnapped with Yorio and Jalics and released, testified on September 23. She informed the court that Yorio and Jalics were abducted after Bergoglio removed his protection.

Attorney Luis Zamora requested Bergoglio’s testimony. The now-cardinal “insisted on clerical testimonial privilege and did not testify in open court; proceedings were held in his office,” stated Ferguson.

Bergoglio said he tried to protect his priests and also recounted the steps he took to ensure their release. “After the hearing, Zamora described Bergoglio as ‘reticent,’ adding, ‘when someone is reticent they are lying, they are hiding part of the truth.’ Reached for comment, Zamora added that Bergoglio has ‘completely failed’ in his explanation of the past,” Ferguson wrote.

In a 1999 interview, conducted shortly before he died, Yorio – who had left the Jesuits – repeated what he had already said before, that he faulted Bergoglio for his kidnapping. Jalics - who remained a Jesuit - said that “in 2000, he and Cardinal Bergoglio met, celebrated Mass together, and proclaimed their reconciliation. In a statement posted to a German Jesuit website on March 20, 2013, [a week after the election of Pope Francis] Jalics said that it is ‘wrong to claim that our capture was initiated by Fr. Bergoglio,’" noted Tom Quigley former policy advisor on Latin American, Asian, and Caribbean issues to the U.S. Catholic bishops.

Jalics, however, has remained silent as to Bergoglio’s facilitating their abduction.

RWANDA

“The Catholic Church is the only institution involved in all the stages of genocide,” wrote Ndahiro Tom, Rwandan Commissioner of Human Rights. More than 800,000 people were killed in just a hundred days in 1994. At the time, 90 per cent of all Rwandans were Christians and two thirds of those were Catholic.

Belgium was given a League of Nations mandate over Rwanda in 1919. Belgian colonizers brought Catholic missionaries, educators and hierarchs with them. “The Church had been an integral part of Rwandan life. The Vatican was one of the most influential and knowledgeable foreign powers in this small, poverty stricken country,” wrote Linda Melvern for the New Humanist.

The population is primarily made up of two ethnic groups, the Tutsi and the Hutu. “Church authorities contributed to the spread of racist theories [that the Hutu were superior to the Tutsis] mainly through the schools and seminaries over which they exercised control,” Melvern stated.

“The elite who ruled the country trained in these schools. [T]he stereotypes used by the Hutu-dominated Rwandan government to dehumanize Tutsis, were also spread by some influential clergymen, bishops and priests, before and after the genocide,” noted Ndahiro Tom.

Additionally, “next to the government, the churches were the largest employers, running social, educational and medical institutions. The churches were more than associated with Rwandan dictatorial regime; they were a part of it …. Bishops, priests and nuns, both Rwandese and foreign, were involved in Rwanda's politics,” Melvern wrote.

The Organisation for African Unity's (OAU) report on the genocide said the Church offered "indispensable support" to the Hutu regime during the killing and described Church leaders as playing "a conspicuously scandalous role" in the genocide by failing to take a moral stand against it. "This stance was easily interpreted by ordinary Christians as an implicit endorsement of the killings, as was the close association of Church leaders with the leaders of the genocide," the report said.

Installed as head of the Rwandan Church in 1976 by Pope Paul VI, Archbishop Vincent Nsengiyumva was a long time member of the central committee of the president’s ruling party. He “was an intimate of both the Hutu dictator and his wife, who ran the country as a corrupt ethnic family dictatorship,” noted Gerald Caplan, an African scholar.

Melvern wrote:

In the three years prior to the genocide, an estimated 2,000 Rwandans, mainly Tutsi, had been killed in government organized massacres, and while warnings were issued by a few brave priests, Pope John Paul II was largely silent about the racism and brutality....

In the first weeks an estimated 10,000 people were murdered every day. The public knew about, and in many cases participated in, the slaughter. But five days into the killing, on April 11, the bishops of Rwanda issued a statement in support of the newly created so-called Interim Government, the main instigators of genocide. The bishops' statement also praised the Rwandan army who were ‘taking to heart the country's security’; this was an army whose soldiers were being ordered to seal the exits where large concentrations of people were sheltering from slaughter....

And it was not as if John Paul II didn't know what was going on.” The papal ambassador, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, “one of the most knowledgeable westerners in Rwanda, was among the first to be evacuated from the country once the killing began.

“Once the slaughter was underway, Archbishop Nsengiyumva attempted to justify it by blaming Tutsi rebels for provoking the bloodshed [and] was interpreted by Rwandans as endorsement of the killing,” stated the OAU report.

“Accusations that the Catholic leadership acted as apologists for the génocidaire have been buttressed by the involvement of a network of church organizations, from monasteries to missionaries,” the OAU  report said.  “More Rwandese died in churches and parishes than anywhere else,” according to the group “African Rights.”

“Powerful friends in the Vatican helped accused priests and nuns hide throughout Europe,” stated Caplan.

Involvement of some priests and nuns in the genocide:

Father Athanase Seromba was accused of having “planned, organized and supervised several attacks against Tutsi refugees” by Hutu militia and police in the commune of Kiwuma. Seromba allegedly paid killers to drive a Caterpillar tractor over his church, crushing at least 2,000 refugees inside, “whole families who had come to his church seeking sanctuary.”

In July 1994, Seromba fled to Italy where he worked as a priest in two parishes near Florence.

After Seromba was exposed, the UN’s ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, accused the Vatican of obstructing his extradition to face trial. The Holy See told her the priest was "doing good works" in Italy. Another Rwanda priest taken on in Italy was charged with overseeing the massacre of disabled Tutsi children.

In 2006, Seromba was found guilty of organizing the killing of over 2,000 Tutsis and was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

“The special role the Church played in this tragedy isn't confined to Father Seromba: between April and July 1994 there were at least 30 large massacres in churches,” noted Melvern.

Two priests, Jean François Kayiranga and Edouard Nkurikiye, "were accused of encouraging hundreds of parishioners to seek refuge in their church in Nyange just before the building was attacked by Hutu soldiers (who) attacked the church with axes, picks and grenades for two days. The priests then allegedly brought in a bulldozer to destroy the building where the bodies lay, crushing those who remained alive.” Both were sentenced to death in 1998 by a gacaca [community] court after finding them guilty of "genocide and complicity to genocide"

Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka was indicted by the ICTR in 2005 with a “catalogue of horror.” The court charged him with “conspiring with the Hutu militia in killing Tutsis by helping make lists of men to die, standing by as Tutsis were taken away and killed, allowing the militia to roam his church hunting for victims, and raping young women.”

According to Rwandan law, civilians accused of complicity with members of the army are also tried before a military tribunal. So he was tried in absentia before the Military Court in Kigali in 2006 as an accomplice of General Laurent Munyakaz. The prosecution requested the death sentence against Munyakazi and sentenced Munyeshyaka to life imprisonment.

Munyeshyaka has been a priest for the parishes of Gisors and the Epte Valley in France since 2001. "The Catholic Church in France does not see any of this as a bar to serving as a priest and has gone out of its way to defend Munyeshyaka.”

Father Emmanuel Rukundo was accused of participating with Hutu militia in the “kidnapping of Tutsis who sought refuge at the Petit séminaire Saint Léon in Gitarama. He was said to have been responsible for the murder of a great number of Tutsis by forwarding to the army and the authorities lists with their names and addresses. "Many Tutsis were killed as a result of this. Accompanied by soldiers, he reportedly went out looking for Tutsis who were fleeing in order to kill them.”

After the genocide, “he left the country and asked for asylum in Switzerland.” From 1999, Rukundo was a parish priest in Geneva. In 2001, the ICTR requested the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs arrest Rukundo and to transfer him to the Tribunal. In 2009, Rukundo was found guilty of genocide, murder and extermination as crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to 25 years of prison.

Sister Theophister Mukakibibi was convicted of helping Hutu militias kill hundreds of Tutsis seeking refuge from the slaughter in a Butare hospital where she worked. "She was responsible for selecting Tutsis and would throw them out of the hospital and the militia would then kill them,” said Jean Baptiste Ndahumba, president of the gacaca court. “She also denied food to Tutsis hiding in the hospital, he said. About 20 people testified against her.” Mukakibibi was sentenced by a gacaca court in 2006 to 30 years in prison

Sister Julienne Maria Kizito and Mother Superior Gertrude Mukangango “were accused of failing to protect between 5,000 and 7,000 people who had sought sanctuary in their Benedictine convent. Prosecutors said the two Hutu nuns drove local Tutsis - mostly women and children - out of their compound and stood by as militiamen killed them. The nuns were also accused of informing militiamen that some people had fled to nearby buildings. Kizito was also accused of providing cans of gasoline used to set a garage containing 500 people on fire.

The nuns fled to Belgium in 1994. They were convicted in 2001 by a Belgian court of participating in the genocide and sentenced to 15 and 12 years' imprisonment respectively without right of appeal.

Bishop Augustin Misago was arrested and brought to trial in a gacaca court in 1999 on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. “Misago was accused of failing to protect Tutsis in his church and was also thought to have close ties to the Hutu authorities, including those involved in leading ‘death squads.’” He was acquitted of the charges in 2000.

The acquittal of a Misago “reflects the influence of the Church on institutions of government, some political analysts contend. Others insist that the country's judicial system operated independently and was not unduly influenced by the appeals [on Misago’s behalf] made by Pope John Paul II and high-ranking Church officials in Rwanda,” reported Christianity Today.

Archbishop Nsengiyumva was murdered along with two bishops and 13 priests by Tutsi rebels on June 7, 1994.  “Two hundred or more priests and nuns, Tutsi and Hutu, were murdered during the genocide. Some died courageously attempting to save lives or refusing to abandon their parishioners” but “far more actively collaborated with the genocidaires in their murderous exploits or at best stood by, silent,” noted the OAU report.

Unfortunately, “information on the total number of Catholic clergy and nuns who were imprisoned for their alleged involvement in the 1994 genocide could not be found,” noted the Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa.

However, “across Rwanda today, church names are often recalled not as places of worship but as extermination centers,” the OAU report concluded.

__________________

This past March, Pope Francis announced that the Vatican would open the archives on the papacy of Pope Pius XII in 2020. For many, Pius is controversial only because he is accused of silence on the German holocaust. So Pope Francis said the documentation would provide grounds for praising Pius with evidence of “human and Christian prudence, which to some could look like reticence.”

Bishop Sergio Pagano, Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, added that the archives also “will reveal the greatness of Pius XII” but that only pre-qualified researchers “will be able to view a large volume of documents.”

At the end of his book, God and the Fascists: The Vatican Alliance with Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, and Pavelić, Karlheinz Deschner summarized, “If one considers the attitude of Pius XII to the politics of Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, and Pavelić, it hardly seems an exaggeration to say: Pius XII is probably more incriminated than any other pope has been for centuries. He is so obviously involved in the most hideous atrocities of the Fascist era.”

Thanks to the hard labor of Deschner, all the historians, authors and journalists cited above, and a myriad of other truth-tellers, the Church’s record on World War II Croatia, Argentina’s Dirty War, the Rwandan genocide and other crimes against humanity can not be whitewashed.

Nor will Pope Francis' continuing to allow the sexual torture of hundreds of thousands of the world's children be ignored thanks to dedication and sacrifices of the survivors and hard-working civil authorities, reporters, authors and writers. 

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of your writings on the RCC and the Pope.

The crimes also continue to take my breath away.

I have noticed that when the sex abuse fires start to get too hot, Francis goes off on one of his faux concern for the environment pronouncements. It worked last time to draw away attention, but I don't think it will do the trick this time.

Do you feel that there are more and more writers exposing the church?

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@Fishtroller 02 reporting this past year or so. Also, since last summer with the disclosure of the Pennsylvania's AG report, about another dozen or so states launching investigations, the raid on {president of the U.S. Bishop Conference) DiNardo's Houston office, the McCarrick affair, etc. have kept the news that nothing's changed since Bergoglio was elected in the news. I also agree that his environmentalism is becoming a big "who cares" and doesn't draw the adulation it once did.

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Betty Clermont

ggersh's picture

institution baffles my mind....

The horrors all done in the name of god
or religion based...smfh

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trump will be amerika's last president

ameriKa's been crapified and yes that
has trickled down

snoopydawg's picture

It is looking like they were imo. Look at how many Nazis scientists were brought here during Operation Paperclip and they were not only able to get off for committing war crimes, but they were allowed to bring their work here. Was it implemented by the CIA? Guess we can ask Gina Haspel that question since she too got to laugh at the laws against torture. Did Jackson and the other members of the Nuremberg know about the other countries that were involved in these sick acts? If not, then why not? Uggghhh!!

Sorry, Betty I could not read very much of your report. Reading about how other humans can treat humans so heinously turns my stomach.

I am with ggersh. How the catholic church can still be in power is mind boggling, but that is what power wroughts isn't it? They become so powerful that no one can bring them to justice.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

enhydra lutris's picture

depth of the Church's involvement in Rwanda. Thanks again.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

gulfgal98's picture

you are a beacon of light upon the abuses of organized religion, particularly that of the Catholic Church. But I suspect your exposes of the Catholic church could be applied to other religious organizations' horrendous sins against humanity, maybe not to the extent of the Catholic Church, but still having the same disastrous results against other humans.

Again, thank you for continuing to share your research and knowledge with us here at C99.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

@gulfgal98

being exposed within the Southern Baptist convention.

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

Snoopydawg, you may be right about the Nuremberg Trials which, by the way, Pius XII tried to obstruct.

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Betty Clermont