Argentina: Priest Imprisoned for Dirty War Crimes

“Spiritual Aid?”

In the courtroom, wearing a priest’s collar and bullet proof vest, Von Wernich seemed unaffected and showed no remorse when the verdict was read. On October 9, during his final declaration the ex-military chaplain said that in the history of Christianity, no priest had ever violated the sacrament of confession. “The sacrament of confession – or reconciliation – gives men the opportunity to eradicate their hearts of evil. We the priests of the Catholic church, can use the sacrament and share it. With this sacrament and in 2,000 years in the history of the church, no priest from the Roman-Catholic church ever violated this sacrament.”

According to Godoy, the ex-military chaplain had a direct role in the forced disappearances of men and women in clandestine detention centers. “Von Wernich is responsible for all the disappeared from the clandestine detention centers where he worked. He wasn’t only guilty in collaborating in the kidnapping, torture and killing of people, but directly participating in the crimes, especially torturing. His job was to break the witnesses down and get more information from detainees during and after torture sessions.”[…]

Human rights representatives have demanded that the Catholic Church issue an apology for the victims during Argentina’s so called “Dirty War.” The Catholic Church has refused to issue a statement, other than to confirm that Von Wernich continues in the ranks of the church hierarchy. The Argentine Catholic Church has refused to suspend Von Wernich from his duties of the priesthood, even after the verdict. Behind bars in the V.I.P. Marcos Paz Federal prison, Von Wernich will be able to give communion to fellow cellmates – convicted torturer Miguel Etchecolatz and other human rights offenders.[…]

[…] Sara Derotier de Cobacho is a Mother of Plaza de Mayo whose two sons were disappeared during the dictatorship. One of her sons, Enrique Ramon Derotier de Cobacho was disappeared at 23-years-of-age for his work as a seminary student and organizing efforts. “Today is the fruit of 30 years of struggle. Today, because the amnesty laws were revoked, we are able to put Von Wernich on trial. For me today is a strong blow because I have a disappeared son who was in seminary school, so I have a contradiction of what the church meant. Not only was there impunity, but the Church remained silent

“For practicing Catholics, we have entered an identity crisis. Today, I couldn’t sit and listen to Von Wernich. I thought of my son. And the years I lost praying,.. read more


One response to “Argentina: Priest Imprisoned for Dirty War Crimes

  1. from complicity with the Nazis to a successful plan of constructed terror/terror/rape/genocide against aborigonal children not to mention the sexual targetting of the children of church members and cover-up by the church heirachy and now this?
    I wonder if continues to stick fast to his stance to just let god sort it out. Father Joe recently turned me in/ reported me to homeland security for posting information detailing the Catholic Churchs’ war on aborigonal children and complicity with the Nazis that went way beyond the story they gave attemting to exonerate themselves.
    Not only should we not leave our children alone with these priests -this organization should be disbanded.

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