Document summaries

Vatican concern over purported communist propaganda, not dictatorship crimes

A document dated October18 1973┬áportrays the Vatican’s preoccupation with the persecuted left-wing in Chile, rather than the horrific crimes committed by the US-backed dictatorship.

The coverage of crimes in the immediate aftermath of the dictatorship is described by Archbishop Benelli as concern “over successful international leftist campaigns to misconstrue completely realities of Chilean situation.” Reports about the the oppressive violence are described as “exaggerated coverage of events as possibly the greatest success of communist propaganda.”

From within the Church, individuals who deviated from the Vatican viewpoint were deemed “incapable of viewing the situation objectively.” France also deemed the Vatican as having remained “shamelessly silent” about dictatorship crimes.

The Vatican document also claims that Cuba was arming Chilean workers for Allende to stage a “pre-communist coup”.

It is well-known, however, that Salvador Allende, despite endorsing socialist aims, was of the opinion that revolution can be achieved through other means, including democratic processes.