We Are Church Intl.

Statement on the Catholic Church and the Dictatorship in Argentina


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The memory of the Latin American peoples – especially of those of the Southern Cone (Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay) - is still severely dealt a blow more than thirty years after the “rumble of boots” which was extended over the region, an expression of the institutional violence and state terrorism to torment thousands of citizens for decades.



The breakaway from the constitutional order, which is characteristic of the rule of law, established in those countries terror, torturing, persecutions, imprisonments, the exile of thousands of citizens with very grievous consequences. As an accomplice of this civilian-military power the hierarchy of the Argentine Catholic Church was also associated.




The overcoming of the hard hit memory of the Argentine people demands the punishment of the actors (both individual and collective) who were involved in these crimes as has been demanded by a recent document signed by the Group of Priests in Option for the Poor (Grupo de Curas en la Opción por los Pobres) which we manifest our solidarity for by demanding from the competent authorities that justice also be done to the members of the Catholic hierarchy which was responsible for part of such atrocities.


It is not a question of only acknowledging a mere ethical reprimand for simple omissive behavior but rather a question of punishing for their crimes of complicity all groups and persons that have effectively collaborated with that state of barbarity and with the inclusion of the ecclesiastic groups involved.


For that reason we manifest our solidarity with the recent initiative of the Group of Priests in Option for the Poor, demanding that justice be done (see http://www.curasopp.com.ar/ in Spanish). Commentary by the Group of Priests in Option for the Poor on the “Message to the People of Our Country” published by the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina.