Showing posts with label Liberation Theology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Liberation Theology. Show all posts

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Jürgen Moltmann, obituary for the father of the errors of contemporary theology

With his book "Theology of Hope" from 1964, Jürgen Moltmann became the impetus for all currents of political theology 

By Stefano Fontana*

On June 3, the Protestant theologian Jürgen Moltmann died in Tübingen at the age of 98. He is usually referred to as the "theologian of hope" because of his major work, "Theology of Hope," which was published in Germany in 1964 and then in numerous other languages. This memory of him is not wrong or too short-sighted, because this work did not aim to deal with one chapter of theology, namely hope, but to reformulate it in its entirety.

From hope came a new explanation of all traditional theological themes: revelation understood not so much in its doctrinal but rather in its historical character, transcendence understood as the future in a temporal rather than a spatial sense, sin as the rejection of hope, grace as the gift of the possibility and ability to hope, conversion as turning away from the present and turning towards the future. Hence the revolutionary impact of his theology, linked to the pan-Protestant idea of the mature world, secularization as a Christian phenomenon and the need for a secular theology, which was also expressed the following year, in 1965, by Harvey Cox in his book The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective, as coordinates of the new theology that we find in all subsequent theology, including Catholic one.

A secular theology with political language

The illusion of earthly "paradise"

In both the Old and New Testaments, according to Moltmann, God is not understood as a consecration of times and places, but is linked to a word of promise. The promise binds man to the history that stands between the promise and its fulfillment. This is the space for human responsibility, for the future, morality and practice. The theology of hope is elaborated in an eschatological key that henceforth entrusts the theologian with the task not of "interpreting the world, history and human nature, but of transforming them in anticipation of a divine transformation". The place of God's revelation becomes history, and God reveals himself through historical promises and historical events starting from the Exodus. The task of the Christian is not so much to ask who God is and what qualities he has, but to recognize where God is at work in history and to actively participate in his work of redemption. It is necessary to eliminate all metaphysical dualism and all spatial conceptions of God in order to create a secular theology with a political language: "This means that we recognize where God is at work and thus participate in his work: this incessant action is a way of speaking: in doing this, the Christian speaks of God." Truth becomes action. Who God is is not said by the theologian through speeches, but by the practice of Christians.

With Moltmann, the dimension of history enters theology and confuses its connotations. The aforementioned Harvey Cox approached theology of hope, arguing that "God loves the world, not the church" and uses the world, not the Church. In his book The Christian as Rebel, he states that "it was professional baseball, not the church, that took the first steps toward racial integration. We are way behind on this whole thing. We must hurry to catch up with what God is already doing in the world."

The real breakthrough in contemporary theology

As we can see, the "church that goes out" has distant origins. Moltmann's new proposals were taken up by Johann Baptist Metz in his Political Theology, and Karl Rahner would also adopt the same assumptions, starting with secularization, which required us to think that the revelation of God took place in human history before the Church. It can be said that the real innovative turn in contemporary theology was brought about by Moltmann. All other theologies will in fact follow the path he took. The theology of hope can therefore be compared to an explosion that sets off others in a chain reaction. He was able to deal with the theology of revolution and liberation, and was the midwife of black theology and feminist theology. He was also at the centre of the dialogue between Christians and Marxists.

This last keyword leads us to another important chapter in Moltmann's story. I am referring to the dialogue of ideas with the East German Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch, who so strongly influenced Moltmann's theology at that time and later. Bloch's principle of hope and Moltmann's theology of hope relate to each other. Bloch reformulated Marxism under the category of utopia, he sees all reality as determined by the future and driven to self-overcoming, he reads the Bible as an expression of a "transcendence without transcendence", future and history are as much features of the Christian religion as of the secularized world, the God of Israel is the God of the eighth day, "who was not yet and is therefore more authentic", and Christ has nothing spiritual, but is the man who sat not at the right hand of God but in his place, because Christianity is liberating and therefore atheistic. In this way Moltmann met not only with Marxism but also with the atheistic nihilism of modernity.

To pass judgment on Moltmann's theology is also to pass judgment on much of contemporary theology. To celebrate his thought by praising it is to condone the great errors of that theology and of the theologies that followed. I have limited myself here to recalling some basic assumptions. Readers, if they wish, can train themselves to recognize the negative effects of Moltmann's thought on theology since then and also on the practice of the Church.

Stefano Fontana, Director of the International Observatory Cardinal Van Thuan for the Social Doctrine of the Church ; his recent publications include “La nuova Chiesa di Karl Rahner” (“The New Church of Karl Rahner: The Theologian Who Taught Surrender to the World”, Fede & Cultura, Verona 2017), together with Archbishop Paolo Crepaldi of Trieste “Le chiavi della questione sociale” (“The Keys to the Social Question. Common Good and Subsidiarity: The Story of a Misunderstanding”, Fede & Cultura, Verona 2019), “La filosofia cristiana” (“Christian Philosophy: A Complete View of the Areas of Thought”, Fede & cultura, Verona 2021).

Translation: Giuseppe Nardi 
Image : National Archives of the Netherlands (screenshot) 
Trans: Tancred vekron99@hotmail.clom 


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The Death of a Pope Whisperer

German-born Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Pope Francis' governor in Brazil, died yesterday at the age of 88.

(Brasilia) The Archdiocese of São Paulo announced the death of Cardinal Cláudio Hummes at the age of 87. Cardinal Hummes was Pope Francis' lieutenant in Brazil and one of the major promoters of the Amazon Synod, which, along with the Synod on the Family, was the largest project of the current pontificate to date. Overall, Hummes was one of the most influential voices for the progressive paradigm shift under Francis. The pope called him a "very, very good friend".

Odilo Cardinal Scherer, the incumbent Archbishop of São Paulo yesterday issued a "Message of Sorrow and Hope" announcing that the burial will take place in São Paulo Cathedral:

"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, (...) today, after a long illness that he endured with patience and trust in God."

It was Hummes who, as Francis himself said, said immediately after his election in 2013: "Don't forget the poor". It was he who recommended that the newly elected man call himself Francis. The long history will only be briefly outlined.

Hummes' rise

Archbishop Hummes with Lula da Silva 1989

Pope Benedict XVI had appointed the Archbishop of São Paulo to the Roman Curia despite his progressive attitudeThis was a frequently practiced but not always successful attempt to remove critics of a pontificate from their dioceses and at the same time integrate them in Rome. John Paul II had failed with Cardinal Walter Kasper, Benedict XVI failed with Cardinal Hummes.

Cláudio Hummes, born in 1934 as Auri Alfonso Hummes in Montenegro in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, was of German descent and grew up in an area in southern Brazil dominated by German immigrants. His ancestors emigrated from the Hunsrück to Brazil in 1857. Perhaps that is why it was so easy for him to help forge a progressive German-Brazilian axis.

He studied with the Jesuits, but entered the Franciscan order in 1952, where he received the religious name, Claudio. His intelligence enabled him to continue his studies at the Antonianum, the pontifical college of the Franciscan order in Rome. In 1958 he was ordained a priest and in 1965 he was an adviser to the Brazilian Bishops' Conference on ecumenical questions.

In 1975 he was appointed bishop by Paul VI. and the episcopal consecration by his confrere Archbishop Aloisio Lorscheider OFM, one of the signatories of the catacomb pact. In the same year, he became bishop of Santo André. At the time, Hummes had been in close contact with the political left for years, particularly with future Brazilian head of state and government Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

At the same time, however, he had the only partially accurate reputation of not being a representative of Marxist liberation theology, which was particularly rampant in Brazil. Therefore, John Paul II appointed him Lorscheider's successor as Archbishop of Fortaleza and in 1998 Archbishop of São Paulo, one of the largest dioceses in the world. He was created a cardinal in 2001.

The integration attempt by Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Scherer's message

Benedict XVI appointed Hummes to the Roman Curia as Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in 2006, an appointment that caused a scandal even before Hummes arrived in Rome. The newly appointed prefect of clergy spoke out in an interview in Brazil for the abolition of Priestly Celibacy.  The scandal was perfect. The Holy See, severely offended, intervened and Hummes backtracked. He corrected his statement and was able to take up his post as Prefect in Rome.

The Brazilian cardinal had revealed two things to the whole world: Hummes was not a Marxist, but a progressive with no reservations about the Marxists. And he knew how to act, if necessary to hide his feelings.

Nevertheless, his time in Rome was not to last long. Externally he kept a low profile but sabotaged the pontificate of Benedict XVI. The final straw came in 2010 with Hummes' boycott of the appointment of St. John Mary Vianney as Patron Saint of Priests.

Behind the scenes, the progressive spectrum was up in arms against Benedict XVI's intention to make the priest of Ars the role model for the next generation of priests. According to the outraged, this is a step backward into “pre-conciliar” times and is directed “against” the Second Vatican Council. Hummes as the responsible cardinal prefect at the Curia played a central role in the rebellion against Benedict XVISince this was intriguing and Benedict XVI. was a very lenient regent, Vianney's appointment failed. However, the German Pope showed in his reaction that he could – if only rarely – take decisive steps. He fired the Brazilian that same year and before the end of Hummes' term. Benedict XVI thus shared his poor opinion of Hummes' tenure to the world.

Cardinal Hummes returned to Brazil at the age of 76 and had become Benedict's implacable opponent on a personal level as well. At the beginning of 2014 he would have turned 80 and resigned as a papal elector. The end of his influence. But Benedict XVI. surprisingly announced his resignation in February 2013 and offered the progressive Fronde the unexpected opportunity to turn things around at the "last moment".

Hummes, the Pope Whisperer

Hummes became a key figure in the March 2013 conclave. He was the one who supported the archbishop of Buenos Aires in the pre-conclave and, according to his own statements, supported Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the conclave "when things became a little more dangerous".

The crucial concern of the Sankt Gallen secret group and the Bergoglio team was that their Argentine candidate could withdraw his candidacy, as he did in 2005. Cardinal Kasper had obtained Bergoglio's promise that this would not be the case a second time. But Hummes had the task not to leave Bergoglio's side in the Sistine Chapel. When he showed himself to the world as the new pope, the "pope maker" Hummes also stood next to him on the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica. It was he, as Francis later said several times, who had whispered to him to take the name Francis.

When Francis showed himself to the world as the newly elected Pope in 2013, Cardinal Hummes stood with him on the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica.

The close bond between Francis and Hummes was still evident in the election year when the new pope gave the Brazilian the satisfaction of vengeance. On September 21, 2013Francis Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, with whom Benedict XVI. had replaced Hummes as Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy just three years previously.

As late as February 2014, the first anniversary of Benedict XVI's announcement of his resignation, Hummes' joy was evident. The mood among Catholics had been "depressed and sad" during Benedict's reign around the world. People would have “hung their heads”. But with the resignation of the German Pope, so much has changed in one fell swoop “in such a quick and beautiful way”. With the election of Francis, the loss of trust of the people under Benedict XVI. vanished, because "now people have trust again".

In July 2014, in the changing climate of the new pontificate, Hummes gave the Brazilian newspaper Zero Hora a deeper insight into the intellectual world of a “popemaker”, in which “gay marriage”, the abolition of celibacy and women’s priesthood do not pose problems, but play an essential role.

Humme's most important project: the Amazon Synod

This explains why the revolutionary Austrian missionary Bishop Erwin Kräutler found in Hummes the decisive companion for the project "Amazon workshop" with the main goal of eliminating "forced celibacy". It was Hummes who opened the door to Santa Marta and the Amazon SynodHummes and Kräutler then also controlled the umbrella organization REPAM, which was founded especially for the synod: Kräutler as chairman for Brazil, Hummes as overall chairman.

It was Hummes who, before the Amazon Synod, alternately announced in cryptic tones that the synod “may become historic” and openly declared that the synod would “decide on married priests” . After all, the Amazon Synod "is not convened to repeat what the Church is already saying, but to move forward," Hummes said in the summer of 2018.

The major goal of the Brazilian purple wearer was the abolition of “forced celibacy”, as he had contemptuously called priestly celibacy back in 2010. Other solutions were out of the question for him. He vigorously rejected such a proposal in the late summer of 2016, when the proposal was made at a conference to solve the problem of the shortage of priests in the Amazon jungle by asking each missionary order to send two priests. Hummes had an allergic reaction: " No, no, the Pope doesn't want that ". He certainly didn't want it.

Everything was prepared by the Amazon Synod to overturn priestly celibacy. Hummes wrote a letter to all in January 2020 announcing Francis' post-synodal exhortation and urging it to be "accepted." It was generally expected that the letter would contain a softening of priestly celibacy. At a secret meeting in June 2019, the leaders of the synod had already found a name for the new ordained ministry: It should be “ Presbyter". Austria's bishops declared three months before the start of the synod – prematurely – that they would “ implement ” the resolutions for the Amazon in Austria. In Austria? It really didn't need more signals to grasp the deeper agenda of the Amazon Synod.

Hummes with Francis at the "Witches' Dance in the Vatican"

The Synod of “Indigenists, Modernists, Anti-Natalists and Ecologists” took place as planned. On the margins of the synod, Hummes celebrated a new edition of the catacomb synod of 1965, October 4, what became known as the “witches’ dance in the Vatican due to the scandalous introduction of the Pachamama which took place there.

But then everything turned out differently.

Benedict XVI published in early 2020, together with Cardinal Robert Sarah, then still Prefect of the Congregation for Worship, a plea for the priesthood and priestly celibacy. Outbursts of anger erupted in Santa Marta, but the surprise turnaround on celibacy was perfect. The subject was dropped at the last minute.

Hummes, Francis and Brazil's Socialists

Francis' conspicuous commitment to Lula da Silva also goes back to Hummes. The pope supported the “Free Lula” campaign when the former president was put in prison on suspicion of corruption, sent messages of solidarity to his prison cell, and was outraged by an alleged “white-glove coup d’état” when Lula’s socialists were about to lose their elections in 2018.

Monsignor Hummes with Socialist leader Lula da Silva (right) during strikes in 1979: the dream of reconciling socialism and Christianity

After the unexpected defeat on the celibacy issue, things had calmed down around Cardinal Hummes, at least on an international level. In Brazil he worked to the end on the project of a "Church with Amazonian roots". The post-synodal letter Querida Amazonia did not bring about the abolition of celibacy that he and the West hoped for, but it was a Bergoglian instrument that, given the “right” conditions and the necessary backing, offers a lot of leeway – also in the future. In the end, Hummes eagerly supported the establishment of the Conferencia Eclesial de la Amazonia as a parallel church structure. Katholisches.Info wrote on July 10, 2020 about the “ revolution through the back door” :

“The creation of completely new institutions opens the way to shedding the most 'obstructive' considerations possible and to being able to strive for the targeted goals more consistently and directly. (...) The new facility is a seamless continuation of the revolutionary agenda that some saw as shelved, or at least wanted to see. The new institution has been commissioned to submit "an important paper" to the Vatican on the question of how "married men in areas without priests" could be ordained. 

Since then it has been established that the objectives have not changed and continue to be: creation of a new Amazonian rite, abolition of celibacy, admission of married men to the priesthood, admission of women to the sacrament of Holy Orders as deaconesses – for the time being – and other progressive burdens of the past.”


Cardinal Hummes became chairman of the new parallel structure.

Hummes supported the unprecedented attack by 152 Brazilian bishops on President Jair Bolsonaro in the summer of 2020. The "Church with an Amazonian face" is too important to Santa Marta for such a frontal attack against a friendly, democratically elected legitimate government by parts of the episcopate to be launched single-handedly. Cardinal Hummes, Francis' personal friend, vouched for this.

May God have mercy on his soul.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image : MiL/ (Screenshots)

Trans: Tancred


Friday, May 17, 2019

Pope Francis “is a Great Friend of Liberation Theology”

Frei Betto: There is no future for humanity other than socialism.

One of the leading ideologues of Marxist liberation theology, the Brazilian Dominican Frei Betto, was interviewed by the daily Diario Libre in the Dominican Republic. In it he described Pope Francis "as a great friend of liberation theology" and talked about the future of humanity and celibacy.

The son of a journalist and a writer who studied journalism himself, he was in his youth a member of Catholic Action, which was close to the Communist Party in Brazil. His role-model was the Communist leader and later guerrilla Carlos Marighella. Betto also became politically active at the time. At the same time he joined the Dominican Order in 1964, which was aligned to the Marxists in São Paulo. In the year of his entry into the Order, he was arrested and tortured by the military for two weeks because of his political activism. In 1966 he resigned from his profession and was arrested again in 1969, this time for two years.

Consultant of communist dictatorships

After his release, he became the liaison of revolutionary circles of Brazil to the communist regime in Cuba. In 1973, he retired to the Favela district of the poorest and joined as a non-combatant of the communist guerrilla movement Ação Libertadora Nacional Marighellas. The ALN kidnapped the then US Ambassador to Brazil. Betto's role model, the guerrilla leader Marighella, was tracked down and shot by the military in the Dominican monastery of Sao Paulo in 1973.

In the 1980s Frei Betto worked as an adviser to socialist dictatorships, alongside Cuba for Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, Poland, the People's Republic of China and Nicaragua.

In 2003 he said there had been three "traumatic" moments in his life: the overthrow of the Chilean Popular Front government of Salvador Allende, the overthrow of the communist government of Granada of Maurice Bishop, and the collapse of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua.

Past times: Frei Betto with Brazil's President Lula and Cuba's President Fidel Castro

Together with his friend and liberation theologian Leonardo Boff, Betto supported his friend Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and his workers' party in Brazil. When Lula became head of state in 2003, he made Fei Betto a government advisor. UNESCO distinguished the Dominican "for his commitment to human rights and social justice". In the circle of like-minded people they honors each other.

"I believe in a god without religion"

His journalistic work also includes a "New Credo" in which he confesses:

"I believe in the God liberated from the Vatican and all religions existing today and in the future. The God who is above all baptisms, before all sacraments, and who goes beyond all religious doctrines. Free from the theologians, he disinterestedly spreads himself in the hearts of all, the faithful and the atheists, the good and the bad, those who consider themselves saved and those who consider themselves children of damnation, and also those who are the secret, who will face death with indifference.
I believe in the god who has no religion [...]
I believe in the God who hides on the back of atheist reason [...]. "

Already on January 29, 2019, Frei Betto spoke in an interview with the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano:

"Cardinal Bergoglio was not progressive, but as Pope Francis, he became a promoter of liberation theology. In his social-ecological encyclical Laudato si (2015) he explores the causes of environmental degradation. And his positions on communion for the divorced and the confession for the children of homosexual couples are big leaps forward, even if he has to struggle between all the hurdles that are thrown between his legs. "

Pope Francis "is today the most important head of state"

At the beginning of May, Frei Betto was a guest at the International Book Fair Santo Domingo in 2019. On this occasion, he was interviewed by the Dominican daily Diario Libre, who presented him on May 4th as "Leftist intellectual, Dominican and central figure of liberation theology".

In his replies he defended the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, declaring that "there is no country in the world that has violated human rights more than the US,” and that "the rights" in Brazil are "drastic measures" eliminating the elected left-wing government.

Overall, according to the Dominican, there is "no future for humanity other than socialism.” It could be said that socialism did not work in the Soviet Union, but that did not mean that socialism had failed.

Of Pope Francis he thinks:

The incumbent Pope needed time because before him there were "34 years of conservative pontificates.” However, the election of Francis was a big step forward because:

"The Catholic Church today is a conservative body with a progressive head."

And further:

"Francis is a great friend of liberation theology. Francis is certainly today the most important head of state, who has the courage to defend the poorest, and the refugees in Europe, who have the courage to accuse the Geldimperialismus and the Marktvergötterung. "

"The celibacy thing must stop"

On the current celibacy debate Frei Betto raved:

"Yes, that's another problem. As long as the Church does not stop with this obligatory celibacy thing ... that must stop. There was no idea of ​​compulsory celibacy in Jesus' head. (...) The problem lies in the macho tradition that started after Jesus in the Church and imposed this compulsion. It should be like in the Protestant churches that a pastor can marry.”

In contrast to many progressive hierarchists in the Church, one can at least not blame the Brazilian Dominican for disguising his convictions.

On April 10, 2014, Frei Betto was received in audience by Pope Francis. Of the topics discussed, the Brazilian then revealed to have sided with an excommunicated brother:

"I asked the pope about his brother, who was burnt at the stake and asked him to rehabilitate Giordano Bruno officially. I think the Church should finally do justice. "

Pope Francis had given him no negative answer, but said that he would "pray" for Giordano Bruno.

The former Dominican Giordano Bruno had been burned on 17 February 1600 as one of the few heretics, by the Roman Inquisition at the stake in Rome. A total of 97 people were executed in Rome during the 250 years that the actual Inquisition was active, most were felons. After the Italian unification,  Church opponents, especially the Italian Masons, created a myth around Giordano Bruno to make his case an instrument in the fight against the Church. It was (and is) not precisely in line with the historical facts. That was also the reason why the Masons of Italy erected a statue on the Campo dei Fiori, where Giordano Bruno was executed. Militant atheism, which describes itself as a "humanism critical of the Church,” venerates the former Dominican brother as their “heretical anti-saint." This includes the atheist Giordano Bruno Foundation in Germany and Austria.

Frei Betto is in strange company, but that does not seem to have bothered him since his youth.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Diario Libre (Screeenshot)
Trans: Tancred

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Vatican Eager to Canonize Evita and Peronism

"The Vatican has given the green light" - Argentina's CGT union launches a campaign for the canonization of Eva Peron five months before the presidential election.

(Rome) CGT is the largest union in Argentina. For the upcoming May 27th, it has called a nationwide general strike against the government and demands, on the occasion of her 100th birthday, the canonization of Eve "Evita" Peron.

"On its 100th anniversary, the CGT declares Evita the saint of the people."

This is the title of a publication that was presented on Tuesday evening in Calle Azopardo in the historic headquarters of the  Confederación General del Trabajo de la República Argentina (CGT), or General Trade Union Confederation. The presentation in Salon Felipe Vallese kicked off a campaign by the Peronist union to "achieve the canonization of Eva Peron," said Carlin, the country's largest daily newspaper, in yesterday's edition.

Padre Pepe two days ago in the CGT headquarters

The campaign started with the participation of Father Jose Maria Di Paola, better known as "Padre Pepe". The priest is a friend of Pope Francis.

The union representatives announced that they had obtained the approval of the Vatican and the Argentine Bishops' Conference for the campaign.

Argentina's Saint

Argentina has so far had three saints: Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero and Hector Valdivielso Saez.

Nazaria Ignacia of St. Teresa of Jesus (1889-1942) was born in Spain. In 1906 she moved with her family to Mexico, where she became a nun. In 1925 she founded her own female missionary order in Bolivia, Cruciatarum Ecclesiae Missionariarum. The last years of her life were spent in Argentina, where she created numerous facilities for youth and the poor. In 1992 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II, and canonized in 2018 by Pope Francis

Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero (1840-1914) was an Argentine priest who spent his pastoral life as a country pastor. In autumn 2013 he was beatified and canonised in 2016 by Pope Francis.

The Argentinean Hector Valdivielso Sáez (1910-1934), born in Buenos Aires, entered the Christian Brothers in 1926 and accepted the religious name of Benito of Jesus. For teacher training he was sent in 1929 to religious houses in Spain. When an alliance of Catholic parties became part of a coalition government in 1934, the radical left called for revolution in the style of the Bolshevik October
Revolution of 1917. In Asturias, the Revolutionary Committees of Socialists and Communists

ordered all priests to be arrested as "enemies of the people." Brother Benito of Jesus was also arrested while he was doing retreats. Sentenced to death by a revolutionary court, he was executed on October 9, 1934 along with other prisoners. As one of the martyrs of Turon, he was beatified in 1990 by Pope John Paul II and was the first Argentine to be canonized in 1999. 

Pope Francis added the first two canonizations to this first saint. In addition, Argentina today counts 13 blessed. This includes the controversial beatification of Bishop Enrique Angelelli last April.

"Immortal" Evita

As far as the CGT union is concerned, Eva Peron, the wife of the two-time coup d'état and two-time head of state and government of Argentina, Juan Domingo Peron, should also be elevated to the altars. Eva Peron's "Evita" by Andrew Loyd Webber and Tim Rice, with their hit Do not Cry for Me Argentina, has been "immortalized" since 1976. The main characters of the musical alongside Evita are still her husband Juan Domingo Peron and Che Guevara, the communist revolutionary, guerrilla leader and patron saint of the extreme left and also some parts of the extreme right.

Eva Peron (1919-1952).

"What the Peronist union CGT demands can take years. A canonization process begins in the diocese in which the candidate died," says Clairin, dampening expectations somewhat.

Eva Peron died on July 26, 1952, at the age of only 33, in the Argentine capital, which is why the
Archdiocese of Buenos Aires is responsible for the opening and first phase of the beatification process, which was chaired by Pope Francis from 1998-2013. The Pope is said to have become a convinced Peronist at a young age. When Peron became president for the first time, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was twelve years old.

Last Tuesday night, the entire CGT leadership was present. The campaign for beatification, according to the CGT secretary-general, is intended to be the prelude to a "counter-culture" which "says everything and is always humble.”

"Eva Peron gave her life for a providential mission, the mission to save the dignity of the human person in its transcendent sense. That was the synthesis of a deep faith in her people and in God. "

And further:

"In this deeply Christian, Catholic and humanistic framework, the CGT understands the message and the immense work of Eva Peron."

One wants to compare those who try to gain a hearing "with many words but little knowledge at the lower level" with  market hucksters.

The "canonization" of Peronism

The union also posted a photo showing priest Padre Pepe at the lectern at the CGT union headquarters, along with his campaign launch press release. A logical step, since Padre Pepe is a personal friend of Pope Francis, and the Holy See and, accordingly, the Argentine Episcopal Conference gave the green light to the CGT campaign.

Padre Pepe with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

According to critics, Argentinian Peronism seeks its own canonization and sees it as an opportune moment under Pope Francis and his politicization of the Church. When the Peronists were defeated in the presidential elections of 2015, Francis made no secret of his disappointment and has since then given the elected, non-Peronist head of state Mauricio Macri the cold shoulder. That was "a reason" why Francis as Pope did not visit his homeland, because he did not want to help Macri to a second term by his presence.

At the end of October 2019, the regular elections will take place. In mid-August, the political groups determine their candidates in open primaries. According to polls, neither Macri nor the Peronists can be sure of a victory. However, the Peronists are counting on a return to Casa Rosada, the official residence of the President, from where they have ruled the country 24 out of 36 years since the end of the military dictatorship.

The union CGT

An important role is played by the General Confederation of Trade Unions (CGT), formed in 1930, as in France and Italy, as an alliance of socialists, communists and revolutionary syndicalists. After the 1943 coup d'état, most of the union supported Labor Minister Juan Domingo Peron. When he was dismissed and arrested as a minister in 1945, the CGT called for a general strike. The agitation, in which Eva Peron participated, forced Peron's release.

Padre Pepe with Archbishop Bergoglio (Buenos Aires). We have known each other for a long time.

For the presidential elections of 1946, the union founded the Labor Party (PL) and contributed significantly to Peron's election victory. In return, it received half the mandate of the three-party Peronist coalition, the Speaker of Parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the important governorship of the province of Buenos Aires, by far the most important member state. In 1947, the three parties dissolved and joined together under Peron leadership to the Peronist Party (PP), which calls itself today Partido Justicialista (PJ). The CGT was the mainstay of Peronism.

With the fall of Peron in 1955, the Peronist movement was banned. In 1966, leading parts of the union supported the coup d'état without reaching an agreement with the new rulers. Radicalization increased in the late 1960s. Underground organizations emerged on the left bank of Peronism, forcibly overthrowing the government and attempting to put Peron back to power. The best-known guerrilla groups were the Montoneros, the ERP and the Peronist Armed Forces (FAP), which also murdered several CGT trade unionists as traitors, including two secretaries-general in 1970 and 1973 (presidents). Their front page included the journal Cristianismo y Revolucion (Christianity and Revolution), which was published in 1966-1971 in the context of Marxist liberation theology, the left-wing priest movement for the Third World and among other things spokesman of the left-wing revolutionary and guerrilla organizations.

"People's Saint"

In fact, Peron was able to become president and head of government for a second time in 1973, but died the following year. In office until 1976, his second wife, Isabel Peron, who tried to build on the nimbus of Eva Peron, politically, but could not pacify the country, and was dragged down by rampant favoritism and corruption even deeper into the crisis. When the military took power in 1976 in the midst of chaos, the CGT was also persecuted. Several union representatives were arrested, some disappeared in the hands of the military never to return. Through numerous strikes, especially since 1979, the union pushed from the underground to an end to the military dictatorship that came in 1983.

Since its re-establishment, the CGT is again the largest and most influential union in the country, but has had to share its influence with the split-off in 1992, CAT, also a Peronist but leftist, half-sized union.

With the campaign for the beatification of the former Primera Dama (First Lady) of Argentina, the largest trade union in the country is entering unfamiliar uncharted territory.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: ElC / Calrin / (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New Jesuit Provincial is “Worst of the Worst”

Rafael Velasco, the new Jesuit Provincial of Argentina and Uruguay

(Buenos Aires) The Jesuit General Arturo Sosa Abascal has appointed Father Rafael Velasco as the new Provincial of the Province of Argentina and Uruguay. The appointment was "the worst of the worst," says Spanish columnist Francisco Fernandez de La Cigoña. From 1973 to 1979 Jorge Mario Bergoglio, today's Pope Francis, was Provincial of this province.

The new provincial was Rector of the Catholic University of Cordoba (UCC) until 2014. He advocates the recognition of homosexuality and the introduction of women's priesthood and assures that he will continue to adhere to Marxist liberation theology.

He expressed his views on this in an interview with the Argentine journalist Mariano Saravia in 2013. Velasco then called for "reforms" in the Church that, in addition to recognizing homosexuality and the admission of the women's priesthood, also meant the elimination of the Roman Curia, the last medieval court in the middle in the 21st century.”  "The community should have more say" in episcopal appointments. 

On the objection that Pope John Paul II had definitely excluded the women's priesthood, Velasco replied that Pope Francis could simply "reopen" the question. There is "nothing the Pope can not open. The pope or a council.” [What happened to not turning back the clock?]

There are "logical" consequences to be drawn, "if a homosexual lives the same norms of love and loyalty that we demand from heterosexuals, then we must totally rehabilitate them for the sacraments, beginning with communion."

The former rector of the Catholic University denied the infallibility of the pope in the interview, when he speaks ex cathedra to questions of theology and morality. According to Velasco, the infallibility in matters of faith is "democratizing.”

According to the Jesuit, Marxist liberation theology is "the reality of reading the word of God from the poor.” The Church has "always" made policy, "but the only ones who have been punished are Ernesto Cardenal and Fernando Lugo."

Cardenal, one of the priests who became armed revolutionaries in the wake of Marxism, was from 1979, Minister of the Sandinista Revolutionary Government in Nicaragua, and Lugo was elected as a candidate for a left-wing alliance to the Presidency of Paraguay. Cardenal, lost office in 1987 due to cutbacks. In 1990, the Sandinists were voted out by the people in the first free and democratic elections. Cardenal nevertheless continues to profess himself to be "Sandinista, Marxist and Christian.”

Lugo won the 2008 elections, was relieved of office in 2012. He had just had to acknowledge the paternity of a second child whom he had conceived during his time as bishop of San Pedro with various women. He had already recognized the first child in 2009. Lugo's personal way of life was criticized as a "slap in the face of the Church.”

Due to the heterodox and heretical positions of Father Rafael Velasco, Francisco Fernandez de La Cigoña today greeted his appointment as the new Jesuit Provincial of Argentina and Uruguay as “a scandal.”

"The only positive thing about the news is that the Argentine and Uruguayan Jesuits are only fewer than 200, of whom one hundred must be eighty or almost eighty. Only 50 Jesuits will be younger than 60, of whom he is one of the youngest in the province at the age of 52.”

The cases of Velasco in Argentina and Wucherpfennig in Germany, to mention only the two most recent, as well as the scandalous statements by the Father General Arturo Sosa last year, means that it can be not only marginal cases, but the Jesuit Order seems to have a fundamental problem 

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: InfoVaticana
Trans: Tancred