Fuck tha Pope

While Benny continues to attack people for…um, well having human rights and sexual abuse remains covered up from the Vatican on downwards, here is an example of the fine sort of priest Benny apparently still thinks should be in the Church- Christian von Wernich. Hell you remember him, he worked with the fascist dictatorship in Argentina to torture and murder people, well even though he was finally jailed for his activities he is still a priest and saying mass (note the veil of silence familiar from the Church’s approach to its child rapists), via Lillie Langtry @ Memory in Latin America

(IPS) – More than two years after he was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity committed during the 1976-1983 dictatorship in Argentina, former police chaplain Christian von Wernich has not been penalised by the Catholic Church.

IPS found out that the 71-year-old priest even celebrates mass in prison.

Von Wernich was sentenced on Oct. 9, 2007 by a court in the city of La Plata, 57 km southeast of Buenos Aires, as an accomplice in the murders of seven members of the Peronist guerrilla organisation Montoneros, which was active in the 1970s, 31 cases of torture, and 42 cases of deprivation of freedom during Argentina’s dirty war.

According to human rights groups, 30,000 people fell victim to forced disappearance during the military dictatorship.

The Cámara de Casación, Argentina’s highest criminal appeals court, upheld von Wernich’s sentence in 2009.

As chaplain for the notorious Buenos Aires provincial police, von Wernich held the rank of inspector and frequently visited the regime’s secret torture camps, encouraging political prisoners to provide information in order to avoid being tortured.

Catholic Church leaders have kept mum on the case of the first clergyman accused and convicted of genocide. One Church source who spoke to IPS on condition of anonymity said von Wernich holds mass in Marcos Paz prison, 50 km west of Buenos Aires.

“There will definitely be a penalty,” the source predicted, although he said what form it would take would depend on von Wernich’s superior, Bishop Martín Elizalde of the Nueve de Julio diocese.

Priests involved in progressive ecclesial base communities, which follow liberation theology, at the other end of the spectrum from von Wernich’s far-right views, preferred not to comment on the case.

Von Wernich’s parishioners in Marcos Paz are a unique lot. The priest shares the prison with dozens of former torturers, including high profile participants in the dirty war like ex-Navy Captain Alfredo Astiz, also known as the Blond Angel of Death, and former Navy Captain Jorge Acosta, alias “The Tiger”, who was head of intelligence at the Naval Mechanics School (ESMA), the regime’s most notorious torture centre.

Other fellow inmates are former police chiefs Luis Abelardo Patti and Miguel Ángel Etchecolatz.


And sign this-

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ask the Catholic Church to pay for the proposed visit of the Pope to the UK and relieve the taxpayer of the estimated £20 million cost. We accept the right of the Pope to visit his followers in Britain, but public money would be better spent on hard-pressed schools, hospitals and social services which are facing cuts.

Sign Here.


18 Responses to “Fuck tha Pope”

  1. libhomo Says:

    Ratzinger always has been a vicious bigot. This is precisely what one would expect from someone who was an enthusiastic member of the Hitler Youth.

    Like so many Germans after WWII, Ratzi rewrote his personal history to make himself sound like he really didn’t do what he had done. If you believe the recrafted histories of post war Germans, you would think that nobody had supported Hitler.

  2. earwicga Says:

    Signed it earlier. It’s not like they can’t afford it!

    • RickB Says:

      Did you retweet it? I think that’s where I got it. Well indeed and if it comes down to 20m of their cash, it’s better spent giving to survivors of abuse, what does he need protection from? Reason, compassion, integrity?

      • earwicga Says:

        Yep, and I thought that is where you may have got it from 🙂 I think most people would sign this petition given the opportunity. Plenty of Catholics who think Benny was a bad choice for Pope.

        • RickB Says:

          He’s a bad choice for anything other than BNP councillor! I would like to see Catholics protest him on the visit, otherwise they run the risk of seeming to be in agreement.

    • libhomo Says:

      With all the money the RCC is paying in settlements over child raping priests, maybe they can’t afford it.

  3. RickB Says:


    Steve Clemons:- I visited the Vatican in early August and met a person who is deeply “embedded” in the world of those who run Vatican City and who govern the global machinery of the Catholic Church.

    According to this person’s estimation, he guesses that a “conservative estimate” of those cardinals and senior church officials who are gay is about 50%. Practicing, as opposed to just flirtatious, homosexuals at the highest levels of the church are probably about 30%.

    When I asked whether homosexuals would be better served under Pope Benedict XVI than under John Paul II, he responded, “Don’t think that we will be any better served under a gay pope than a straight one.”

    While there wasn’t much love lost between Pope John Paul II and the homosexual community, John Paul didn’t spend his every waking moment thinking about how to screw over the gay community. This very-connected individual I got to know in Italy had a different view (let’s just leave it at that) of Benedict XVI.


  4. earwicga Says:

    Just had a look to see when he’s here and if he’s touring or just partying in London. There doesn’t seem to be any answers, apart from Scotland are being ignored: http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/index.php/ccb/catholic_church/media_centre/press_releases/press_releases_2010/pope_benedict_confirms_apostolic_visit_to_great_britain

  5. RickB Says:

    And it was at the UK’s invitation, hmmm, New Labour dammit! I bet he meets with Blair, big chance for citizen’s arrest the world will see there…

    • earwicga Says:

      Yeah, that was a new one on me too – doesn’t compare with what Brown said today:

      “Gordon Brown said he respected the Pope but commenting would be inappropriate.

      The prime minister’s official spokesman said Mr Brown had “enormous admiration and respect” for the pontiff, who will this year make the first papal visit to the UK since 1982.”


  6. richmx2 Says:

    Not to play “devil’s advocate” but why would a priest NOT be allowed to say Mass while in prison? That fact that Christian von Wernich is a mass murderer does not change the fact that he was ordained and even convicts (even mass murderers) have the right to practice their religion.

    I’m not defending the Papacy here, but all I see here is a convict performing rituals in his cell (I haven’t heard anything about him being allowed special privileges and as far as I can tell, he’s just saying mass privately, as any priest is expected to do… even murdering scumbag priests).

    Even if von Wernich is stripped of his clerical status, he could still say Mass — Argentine prisoners are still humans and have human rights. There’s nothing the Pope can do about it, nor is it the British public’s right to “demand” the leader of a small European mini-state “order” Argentine prison authorities inflict extra-judicial punishments.

    • RickB Says:

      Given his crimes and lack of repentance the church should have stripped him of the priesthood and excommunicated him, a friend’s uncle was excommunicated for falling in love with a nun, they both got chucked out and are married practicing under another flavour of christianity, so the church is showing some very weird standards here. Of course he can practice his religion, but a priest has standing that von Wernich does not deserve, especially as he used that authority for such appalling ends. You can’t stop him saying mass to himself in his cell, I suppose the good news there is as a believer he really might be worried about Hell.
      I reserve the right to comment on any human rights violator anywhere, I don’t think borders alter moral responsibility to call it as I see it. And I do think the pope can do something, he is well ensconced with the right wing in the church, he is their pope, he was instrumental in attacking liberation theology, this is fruit of his power blocs ideology. Also it is not a punishment, it is actually a privilege they are affording him, one he manifestly should not be given, he should be returned to status of any other prisoner, not granted this extra perk.

      • earwicga Says:

        “I suppose the good news there is as a believer he really might be worried about Hell”

        I think the Sacrament of Penance will have sorted this one out.

        Looks like he is a prime candidate for beatification like the first nazi pope – Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII.

  7. wyamarus Says:

    I think that the last Pope that could have the adjectives ‘compassionate’ or ‘rational’ applied accurately was John XXIII in the 60s. I seem to recall that he (was) ‘expired’ under very suspicious circumstances by the Vatican Mafia; and thence began the descent back to the Dark Ages for the RCC. Ratzi was not only a Boy Nazi, but is the head of the present day “Office of the Inquisition”. The name is changed, but their activities remain the same. The institutional RCC appears to have taken over the mantle from La Cosa Nostra in being the pre-eminent exporter of terrorism from Italy,and has been caught in various activities of money laundering, political dirty tricks, sheltering known criminals, and publicly supporting racism, sexism, genocide, and exploitation; as well as tacit approval of child molestation. The only effective way to damage them is to demand that they lose their protected status as a “Church”, and the associated tax and legal benefits that accrue. They played the ‘corporate’ instead of the ‘moral’ card when their sheltering of pederasts became public; spinning off individual parishes and sheltering their assets to avoid having to face criminal liability and financial re-compensation. Their moral credibility is nil with any rational person, and they should not be allowed to hide behind their ‘special’ status financially, or legally. I’m not singling out the RCC, but think this should apply to any religious or non-profit organization. If they generate a profit that is not immediately directed back into non-denominational social welfare spending, they are operating as a Business -and should be taxed accordingly. If they provide ‘services’ only to their co-religionists, they are functionally a private club. If they are allowed ‘special’ tax status (which affects the “Commons” of the general tax wealth pool) they should be forced to provide ‘services’ to all (and I don’t think that proselytizing qualifies as a ‘service’) without discrimination. And any organization with non-profit status that endorses a candidate or party should be regarded as a political entity,and treated like a lobbyist or other regulated political player.

    • earwicga Says:

      Mostly agree. Btw, they don’t just protect pederasts, but also paedophiles as well. The former descriptor reflects the majority of victims, but not all. And I think the Murphy reports et al which show that officials in the Dublin diocese took out insurance to cover claims from victims of clerical sexual abuse shows a lot more than ‘tacit approval’.

      If the services you speak of mean schools then they are generally open to all. I worked in a RC school and the Catholic population was 40%, but it should also be noted that Catholic children would have been given entry preference (after siblings of current pupils) in the case of applications outstripping places available.

      Also, church collections often benefit the community as a whole including food collections for homeless organisations, and many individual churches are permanently in debt. I would ask that you don’t confuse the Catholic hierarchy in Rome with individual churches as they aren’t the same.

      • wyamarus Says:

        I was hoping to be clear in my separation of the ‘institutional’ Church from individual instances. I personally know a number of devout Catholics who are wonderful examples of people trying to lead lives of moral and ethical self-improvement, as well as practicing exemplary generosity and compassion. However, my experience is that they are in the minority, and even the exception, in most regards.

        It reflects the underlying difference between spirituality and religion; the institutional practice has always been about power and wealth accumulation, regardless of the best examples of individual behavior.

        Religion as an institution always seems to devolve to a power structure set up to enforce unquestioning uniformity of belief, authoritarian control, and accumulation of wealth and the political (social) power it brings.

        Most people miss the whole point of any religious or philosophical belief system in that it’s proponents’ behavior (particularly in a social context) is supposed to be what is ‘improved’, not the relative value of their ‘beliefs’. In this regard,most of the World’s religions have failed miserably.

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