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From Mary Anastasia O'Grady's March 17th piece in the Wall Street Journal:

One might have expected a swell of pride from Argentine officialdom when the news broke that the nation has produced a man so highly esteemed around the world. Instead the Kirchner government's pit bulls in journalism—men such as Horacio Verbitsky, a former member of the guerrilla group known as the Montoneros and now an editor at the pro-government newspaper Pagina 12—immediately began a campaign to smear the new pontiff's character and reputation at home and in the international news media.

The calumny is not new. Former members of terrorist groups like Mr. Verbitsky, and their modern-day fellow travelers in the Argentine government, have used the same tactics for years to try to destroy their enemies—anyone who doesn't endorse their brand of authoritarianism. In this case they allege that as the Jesuits' provincial superior in Argentina in the late 1970s, then-Father Bergoglio had links to the military government.

"This," O'Grady flatly states, "is propaganda."

Graciela FernÁndez Meijide, a human-rights activist and former member of the national commission on the disappearance of persons, told the Argentine press last week that "of all the testimony I received, never did I receive any testimony that Bergoglio was connected to the dictatorship."

None of this matters to those trying to turn Argentina into the next Venezuela. What embitters them is that Father Bergoglio believed that Marxism (and the related "liberation theology") was antithetical to Christianity and refused to embrace it in the 1970s. That put him in the way of those inside the Jesuit order at the time who believed in revolution.

In sum, O'Grady writes, "the new pope remains a meddlesome priest" for those in power in Argentina.Read her entire piece on the WSJ site. As for the Church's rejection of liberation theology, see the 1984 CDF document, written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, titled, "Instruction on Certain Aspects of the 'Theology of Liberation'".

 
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Carl E. Olson editor@catholicworldreport.com

Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight.
 
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