Friday, June 27, 2014

Pope Francis sends proof of the denunciation that might have cost Bishop Angelelli's life

By Religión Digital (English translation by Rebel Girl)
June 27, 2014

Pope Francis handed over a letter and evidence that had been sent to the Vatican by Monseñor Enrique Angelelli that show the human rights violations committed by Argentina during the military dictatorship. On Friday, July 4th, the sentence against the soldiers accused of being the intellectual authors [of Angelelli's murder] will be pronounced.

The letter was submitted as evidence in the trial for the alleged murder of Angelelli in La Rioja. The written testimony of military persecution is a blow to members of the Vatican who for years denied that the letter and the evidence has come to the Holy See.

"We are constantly hampered in fulfilling the mission of the Church. We priests and religious have been personally humiliated, seized, and raided by the police on orders of the army," Angelelli wrote in his letter. Days later, he would be killed on Route 38 in the vicinity of Punta de los Llanos.

The letter and evidence were sent in July 1976 to the Vatican nuncio who in those days was Pio Laghi. That cardinal, who died in 2009 and was investigated for complicity with the Argentinian dictatorship, always denied having received them.

Francis, fulfilling his promise that he would open the Vatican archives, sent two documents to Monseñor Marcelo Colombo, Bishop of La Rioja: a letter from Angelelli and a report titled "A chronicle of the facts related to the assassination of Fathers Longueville Gabriel and Murias Carlos", the priests in the Riojan city of Chamical who were assassinated on July 18, 1976. The account of the assassinations had been presented the same month they were committed, and Angelelli took the trouble to send multiple copies to the Holy See as he didn't trust the nuncio.

The federal criminal court in La Rioja will resume hearings today on the pleadings of the parties in the trial for the murder of Monseñor Enrique Angelelli, perpetrated during the military dictatorship.

Today the tribunal, composed of Judges José Camilo Nicolás Quiroga Uriburu, Carlos Julio Lascano and Juan Carlos Reynaga, intends to hear the defense arguments of former general Luciano Benjamín Menéndez and former commodore Luis Fernando Estrella.

On June 13th, in their pleadings, the four complaints requested life imprisonment without parole for those accused as authors of Monseñor Angelelli's assassination. Meanwhile, it is expected that on July 4th, the sentence in Angelelli's murder, which was committed on August 4, 1976 in what the dictatorship wanted to pass off as a car accident, will be pronounced.

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