Friday, July 11, 2014

Daze and humiliation: the Brazil vs. Germany game

By Leonardo Boff (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Leonardoboff.com (em português)
July 10, 2014

The semi-finals game between Brazil and Germany on July 8th in the big stadium in Belo Horizonte was a deserved victory for the German team and a crushing and shameful Brazilian defeat. Millions were in the squares and streets of every city. The atmosphere of euphoria of the Brazilians -- most adorned in yellow and green, the national colors -- could not tolerate, or even imagine, such humiliation. And it struck like a thunderbolt out of the blue.

I see two basic reasons for the final result of 7-1 goals in Germany's favor. The Germans, like other European teams, have renewed their strategies and ways of playing soccer. They have invested, in my view, in three basic areas: Careful physical conditioning of the players to gain great endurance and speed, second, preparing individual superstars who can play in any position and run across the field, and finally creating a great sense of togetherness. Excellent players who do not wish to demonstrate their individual performance but know how to integrate themselves, forming a cohesive group, become strong favorites in any competition. Not that they are invincible, because we saw that, playing against the United States, the German team had great difficulty winning. But these qualities were the secret of the German victory over Brazil.

The big issue was the Brazilian team. Almost a national consensus was created that we are the home of soccer, we are the winners of five World Cups, we have the king, Pele, and exceptional players like Neymar and others. The corporate media and supporting agencies created the myth of the "World Cup Player," elevated to hero and almost a demigod. This atmosphere of euphoria tended by marketing by big supporting businesses, eventually spread to the popular mentality. We might lose, but just barely. But for the vast majority, victory was almost certain, more so because the games were taking place in our own country.

This generalized euphoria did not prepare the population for what is inherent in sports: victory or defeat or a draw. Most could never imagine or even dream that we could experience such a humiliating defeat. Victory was celebrated in advance. A serious mistake, largely induced by media hype and euphoria, orchestrated by a famous TV network and its commentators.

But there was also a painful error on the part of the Brazilian coaching commission. Because of our glorious past, it thought it was the master to the point of pretending to teach others what soccer ought to be. It sat on the glories of the past. It didn't renew itself.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe, especially in Germany and Spain but also in Latin America like in Colombia and Costa Rica, a new understanding of soccer was developing. New tactics and ways to distribute the positions of the players in the field were created. The Brazilian coaching staff did not avail themselves of any of this, particularly their coach Luis Felipe Scolari (known as Felipão). He is a fatherly figure, stern and tender at the same time, loved by the players and generally respected by the public. But he is stubborn and persistent in his formulas, good for the past, but inadequate and questionable for the present. He did not realize that the world of soccer had profoundly changed while it was being worked on outside of Brazil.

He didn't achieve two things and that allows us to understand the wretched failure of the Brazilian team. Scolari didn't quell the traditional exaggerated individualism of the players. Each one wanted to demonstrate his good performance, wanted to give his own private show, in view of possibly being contracted by large foreign teams. Secondly, he failed to create a cohesive group with team spirit. The games should put the emphasis on the group and then the specific qualities of each player. He left the players dispersed. They created unacceptable voids in the middle of the field. They were unable to cover the main stars of the opposing team.

The Germans realized this structural weakness of the Brazilian team. They knew how to exploit it skillfully. Within the first minutes, they had already scored the first goal and 29 minutes into the first half, it was already 5-0.

This soccer disaster created a kind of breakdown in the Brazilian team. It was totally bewildered. Its serenity in the face of difficulties faltered and it allowed itself to become disoriented. The coach himself, Felipão Scolari, was unable to make the necessary substitutions. These occurred only in the second half.

The game seemed a contest between a working class suburban team and an international level team. This was not the soccer we have always known. The leaders, locked in their pride, didn't want to learn anything from others. We lost through arrogance and ignorance.

If we had had 11 Neymars on the field without a cohesive and orderly group, the result would have been no different. We lost because we played badly, and we played badly because we didn't take advantage of the new things being tested outside of Brazil. And we didn't form a cohesive and versatile group.

I personally have great pity for the "brasileirinhos" who enthusiastically cheered the team, as journalist André Trigueiro correctly wrote. The majority now feel orphaned. Here, in this very diverse country with a hospitable and fun people, almost nothing is working well -- not health care, or education, or transportion, or safety. Except for the carnival, we're good at almost nothing else, they say. But at least we're good at soccer. This gave the common people a sense of self-esteem. Now we can no longer appeal to soccer. For many years to come, this sinister Tuesday, July 8, 2014 with 7 goals to 1 for Germany will follow us like an ominous shadow. But the people who have already endured many hardships, know how to turn things around. They have a historical resilience that few do.

I wish only one thing: that the elite who, at the opening, shamefully booed the President with unspeakable curses, will not embarrass Brazil again in front of the world when she delivers the trophy to the winner. Since such elites don't usually attend the stadiums and have little commitment to Brazil but a lot to their privileges, they are capable of repeating this shameless act. They would only be showing how they behave in front of people and their own country: with sovereign disdain, because they are suffering because they aren't living in Miami or Paris and feel condemned to live, accumulating here in the southern hemisphere.

The German team deserves an honorary mention for being discreet in the celebration and not feeling entitled because of such a stunning victory. And the Brazilian people appreciated that attitude and acknowledged the worthiness of the victory by applauding it, because they really did prove themselves better.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sowing

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
July 13, 2014

Matthew 13:1-23

At the end of the story of the parable of the sower, Jesus makes this call: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." We are asked to pay close attention to the parable. But what are we to think about? The sower? The seed? The different soils?

Traditionally, we Christians have focused almost exclusively on the soil on which the seed falls, to review what our attitude is when we hear the Gospel. However, it's important to pay attention to the sower and how he sows.

It's the first thing in the story: "A sower went out to sow." He does it with surprising confidence. He sows abundantly. The seed falls and it falls everywhere, including where it would seem hard for the seed to be able to germinate. That's how the peasants in Galilee did it, even sowing along the roadsides and in rocky terrain.

It isn't hard for the people to identify the sower. That's how Jesus sows his message. They see him go out every morning to proclaim the Good News of God. He sows his Word among the simple people who accept him, and also among the scribes and Pharisees who reject him. He never gets discouraged. His sowing will never be in vain.

Overwhelmed by a strong religious crisis, we might think that the Gospel has lost its original strength and the message of Jesus no longer has the hook to attract the attention of men and women of today. It is certainly not the time to "harvest" striking successes, but to learn to sow without becoming discouraged, with more humility and truth.

It isn't the Gospel that has lost its humanizing power; we are the ones who are proclaiming it with weak and wavering faith. Jesus isn't the one who has lost his drawing power. We're the ones who detract from him with our inconsistencies and contradictions.

Pope Francis says that when Christians don't have a strong attachment to Jesus, "enthusiasm soon wanes and we are no longer sure of what it is that we are handing on; we lack vigor and passion. A person who is not convinced, enthusiastic, certain and in love, will convince nobody."

Evangelizing isn't propagating a doctrine, but making Jesus' humanizing and saving power present in society and in people's hearts. And that can't be done any which way. What's most crucial isn't the number of preachers, catechists, or religious instructors, but the gospel quality we Christians can radiate. What are we spreading? Indifference or confident faith? Mediocrity or passion for a more humane life?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Catholic Church in Costa Rica and homosexuality: An open letter to Archbishop José Rafael Quirós Quirós

In June 2014, Archbishop José Rafael Quirós Quirós of San José, Costa Rica, published a note (full text at bottom of this page) in which he asserted that the Catholic Church does not discriminate against homosexuals simply because it opposes same-sex marriage. This note provoked Dr. Luis Paulino Vargas Solís, director of the Centro de Investigación en Cultura y Desarrollo (CICDE) at Costa Rica's Universidad Estatal a Distancia, to write a scathing open letter of rebuttal on his personal blog on behalf the country's homosexual minority.



by Dr. Luis Paulino Vargas Solís (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Soñar con los pies en la tierra blog
July 6, 2014

Monseñor José Rafael Quirós Quirós, Metropolitan Archbishop:

I am writing attentively and respectfully to you to comment on the note you published recently which you titled "The Church does not discriminate."

I am glad you deplore -- as you do at the beginning of your letter -- that around issues related to sexually diverse minorities in Costa Rica, there have been attitudes and arguments that promote confrontation. However, and with all the respect you deserve, I'd like to point out that your letter is, in itself, an open invitation to confrontation in two ways. First, because, explicitly, you deny the recognition of some of the basic rights that these minorities are demanding. Or do you imagine perhaps that those of us who are part of those minorities ought to interpret being denied even the most elemental rights as a gesture of friendship? Second, because at the same time and quite clearly, you slip in offensive and degrading insinuations against people who are part of these minorities. So your argument is contradictory, but it's also incorrect when you state that it is "some media" (sic) that "...stimulate an atmosphere of confrontation." It's not the media that is doing it. Confrontation pulsates -- intensely and warlike -- in the words you have written.

Of course, I have to say that it's very inspiring and gratifying to read once again that the Church welcomes and respects homosexual people. Although you don't say it in your note, one could validly suppose that you subscribe to the condition imposed by official doctrine, that this respect and welcome is subordinate to homosexual people remaining in chastity and renouncing their sexual lives. However, I have to say that such an imposition really constitutes another form of violence against such people -- as such, an invitation to confrontation -- that is no less so, however much "love" makeup you want to embellish it with. That's how it is, especially with respect to Catholic homosexual people who have been so rudely mistreated by their church.

We well know and respect that priests have chosen to live in chastity (a commitment that, as is generally known, is often forgotten), but that doesn't entitle them to claim to impose the same prescription on people who are not interested in following that life plan. The sex of the person with whom one sleeps should never be, anywhere, a reason to determine the treatment a person is given. It is also unfortunate that Catholic officialdom does not understand that a satisfying sex life is, for most people, a necessary condition for achieving a good quality of life.

There is also violence in the affirmation that we homosexual people are a detriment and prejudicial to the "institution of marriage and the family." Something that is reiterated and reaffirmed when, a few lines down, you state that "the union between man and woman...should be protected from any threat that jeopardizes its solidity and existence." It's perfectly clear, given the stated context, that such a "threat" comes from these same minorities.

All this is simply false but, above all, it's offensive. The problems experienced by the types of families you support and the concept of marriage to which you cling are not caused by these minorities. That is also a stigmatizing insinuation, which calls forth violence and discrimination against these minorities. They are words of confrontation that contradict Jesus' gospel preaching of love and inclusiveness.

You also say things that are so foolish, they are very striking. For example, this phrase of yours: "... it is necessary to note the difference between homosexual orientation as a private phenomenon and as public behavior." It is an obscure and confusing phrase that lends itself to a variety of interpretations. One possibility is that it refers to homoerotic practice. If that is the case, we would be entering the realm of total nonsense because, to our knowledge, these minorities have never claimed the "right" to have sex in public. Now, if what this is about is preventing homosexuals from making our condition public, then we would be looking at a call for the violation of fundamental constitutional principles relating to freedom of expression.

Another detail: the type of matrimonial union to which you refer -- and the corresponding type of family -- aren't "natural" at all as Church officialdom argues and you clearly suggest in your note. It is disturbing that the Catholic hierarchy still doesn't know it. The Bible itself illustrates this since stories about polygamy abound in it; it isn't clear why you insist on giving eternal validity to some contents of that book (particularly those that provide the material to fuel hatred against sexually diverse minorities), while conveniently ignoring some others that are less favorable to the ideology that you defend.

The Bible is certainly a complex book, whose exegesis requires much study and that can be read and interpreted in various ways. Hence it is possible to extract justifications that promote confrontation, to feed the hatred of some people, especially those who are sexually different. But this book could also give reasons for promoting the loving embrace, which is only such if it is respectful of the diversity that exists in the human race. It is deplorable that -- even in spite of what was said by Pope Francis -- you favor the former over the latter.

LETTER OF THE METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOP

The Church does not discriminate

By Mons. José Rafael Quirós Quirós, Arzobispo Metropolitano (English translation by Rebel Girl)

Every time a new attempt to legally recognize same-sex unions reappears on the political agenda a new attempt of legal recognition of marriages between same sex, ex officio, in the social debate, some of the sectors advocating for this legal provision aim their barrage of smears and discreditation at their opponents including, of course, the Catholic Church.

Some media, in addition to insisting invariably on the subject at hand, stimulate an atmosphere of confrontation that doesn't help in any way to shape public opinion through clear criteria on the basis of ethical principles and to the benefit of the public good. Generally, their approach which is aligned with the cause, invokes arguments such as the principle of equality and non-discrimination against individuals, making their opponents appear to be conservative, homophobic religious fundamentalists.

There are those who present these seemingly harmless projects as a decision that is limited just to legalizing a reality that does not necessarily imply an unjust act for anyone.

We have always stressed, based on the magisterium of the Church, that men and women with homosexual tendencies should be equally welcomed and respected, attending to their spiritual needs, avoiding any sign of unfair discrimination.

On the pastoral level, "undoubtedly" these people should be sustained in hope. As the Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (no. 10, 1986) reminds us: "It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs."

This position doesn't lead us to ignore the fact that it is necessary to note the difference between homosexual orientation as a private phenomenon and as public behavior, legally approved, converted into and promoted as a legal institution to the clear detriment of the institution of marriage and the family as such. In other words, respect towards homosexual people does not include legalization of unions between people of the same sex.

The union between man and woman is etched in human nature itself that wisely has established it that way. It is on this union that the family is built, whose permanent value to society and human beings is undeniable and should be protected from any threat that jeopardizes its solidity and existence. Therefore, the legal protection of the family institution -- which has existed as such before the state --, and not acting arbitrarily against it by denying its duty because of political calculations or commitments to activist groups, is a basic obligation of the state.

The issue should be seriously debated, presenting rational arguments, authentic anthropology and legal certainty. Merely emotional arguments from hotheaded spirits only lead to a society without a future.

As Church, we reject any initiative or action that insults the dignity of any person, and we will continue to promote love and understanding for all. But also we will be consistent in the defense of permanent values, including heterosexual marriage, the foundation of the family. I invite the people of God, faithfully following the one Master, not to get confused when they are told that domestic partnerships are just a response to the recognition of personal rights.

Is liberation theology a "dying old lady"?

by Juan José Tamayo (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Atrio
July 4, 2014

"The relevant figures of liberation theology are all very elderly, and liberation theology as such, as the expression of what it was, is very archaic, if not already dead ... Today, the theme of liberation theology, which had been put forth with a sociological foundation that did not square with theological foundations, is no more."


No, these are not statements by the Lefebvrist, neoconservative, or fundamentalist sectors, nor by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, so prone to discrediting theological trends that don't agree with Roman theology. They were made by Monseñor Carlos Aguiar Retes, the all-powerful president of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), and published by the Catholic information agency ZENIT. He made them at a very significant occasion -- CELAM's meeting with Pope Francis -- when the Vatican has been showing signs of rapprochement with that theology.

In face of the criticism he received for such contempt towards liberation theology (LT), Archbishop Aguiar himself wanted to qualify it in some statements to Noticelam but, in my opinion, his rejection of that theology has become even more evident. He brings up the existence of a current "based on Marxist analysis which led to ideologizing the Gospel message" and he believes it is necessary to redirect it through developing "a liberation theology with a biblical and spiritual foundation."

What do the first very disrespectful statements from the mouth of a qualified dignitary of the Catholic Church with a bad attitude, who arrogates to himself the representation of some hundreds of millions of Catholics on the continent, and the second, very unfocused declarations on liberation theology reveal? Ignorance, manipulation or, more simply yet, confusing wishes with reality? Whether it's one, or the other, the third, or all three at once, I would like to brief, at least summarily, the president of CELAM on the current state of liberation theology, which today is far from old age and further still from death.

LT, born in Latin America at the end of the '70s -- it has just turned 45 --,  is one of the most creative currents of Christian thought born in the South, far from the centers of political, economic and religious power, with its own signs of identity and theological status. As such, it isn't a branch of theology developed in the North. Quite the opposite: It has broken down theological North-centrism, be it modern or postmodern, European or North American.

It has been an object of suspicion since its beginnings, especially during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. It has received some of the coarsest, least provable accusations such as advocating violence, being a branch of Marxism, introducing class struggle into the Church and partisan politics into Christianity...Many of its practitioners have been condemned, dismissed from their professorships, and their books have undergone strict censorship. The most serious condemnation -- comparable to Pope Pius IX's syllabus against modernism -- was the one contained in the Instruction on Certain Aspects of the "Theology of Liberation", drafted by Cardinal Ratzinger when he was president of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and ratified by John Paul II.

But, despite the persecution to which it has been subjected, LT has not surrendered to Vatican orthodoxy, nor has it renounced its first insights or the principle of liberation, but neither has it remained a snapshot of its origins, since it is not a perennial theology, immune to change, nor one that is purely of the mind, but a theology of practical, historical reasoning, in fieri, that is reformulated and reconstructed in new liberation processes.

Just as LT at its onset tried to answer the social, economic, religious, spiritual and cultural challenges of the Latin American continent, it continues to do so today and is elaborated from the new subjects that are emerging and advocating for structural changes in society and the denominations -- women, doubly and triply oppressed by the dictatorships of patriarchy, capitalism, and colonialism in alliance, the Earth, subjected to depredation by the voracious scientific, technical and economic development system, landless peasants, indigenous peoples, and Afro-descendant communities, humiliated throughout centuries of imperial domination, the growing number of groups excluded because of neoliberal globalization, former religions destroyed by imperial Christianity, persecuted and stigmatized identities.

They are all denied alterities that make up the different faces of poverty and marginalization, whom LT recognizes as active agents, aware that they are becoming empowered and that from their empowerment, they are contributing to overcoming racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia, and thus they are leading the struggle against ethnocide, genocide, and biocide caused by the development paradigm of Western modernity.

From this, new liberation theology trends have emerged, all counter-hegemonic: feminist, indigenous, Afro-descendant, peasant, ecological, and queer theology, theology of religious diversity, of gender diversity. A whole mosaic of theology and wisdom that makes up the diverse panorama of LT, which is not a dying old lady, but is still living and active, trying to respond to the new challenges of the Latin American continent.

Today, it is present throughout the South, but also in the areas of marginalization in the North, and it has been visible at the World Social Forum, where it has created its own religious alter-globalization space, the World Forum on Theology and Liberation, which questions credulous beliefs, revolutionizes the consciences of believers and non-believers, and aims to transform their alienating practices into emancipating ones based on the conviction that "Another theology is possible" -- and necessary! -- in full harmony with the slogan of the Social Forums that "Another epistemology is possible!" and with the epistemologies of the South that are being developed in the different disciplines and sciences.

If Monseñor Aguiar Retes wants to bury liberation theology, he should know that he will be doing it to a living reality and that this is a greater and more serious crime than deeming it archaic or dead. How far the current president of CELAM is from the bishops who bid farewell to the paradigm of the conquering, colonial and developmentalist Church of the conquest, and initiated the paradigm of the liberation Church at the 2nd CELAM Conference in Medellin in 1968! They laid the foundation for the Church of the poor that Pope Francis wants to recover. With his statements, Monseñor Aguiar is blowing up that foundation.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sister Mary Melone, first woman to head a pontifical university

Valores Religiosos (English translation by Rebel Girl)
July 4, 2014

She was the first woman to get a permanent position as a professor in the School of Theology of the Pontifical University Antonianum, the Roman university run by the Order of Friars Minor. She was the first woman to be named a dean, which is equivalent to head of a department, and now that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is pope, she is the first woman to become rector of a pontifical university in the Eternal City.

The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, headed by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski for the 2014-2017 period, has named Franciscan Sister Mary Melone, an expert on Saint Anthony of Padua, to run the pontifical university.

Sister Mary (birth name Maria Domenica) Melone was born in La Spezia in 1964. After finishing school with a specialization in Classical Studies, she joined the Franciscan Sisters of Blessed Angelina where she took her temporary vows in 1986 and later professed her perpetual vows in 1991. In 1992, she graduated with a degree in teaching and philosophy from the Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta (LUMSA) with a thesis on "Corporeity and intersubjectivity in Gabriel Marcel."

She then studied theology at the Pontifical University Antonianum, where she had studied from 1983 to 1987, obtaining a degree in 1996 and then a PhD with a thesis on "The Holy Spirit in Richard of Saint Victor's De Trinitate," published in 2001. She was Extraordinary Professor at the School of Trinitarian and Pneumatological Theology from 2002 to 2008 and director of the "Redemptor Hominis" Institute of Religion.

In 2011, she was elected Dean of Theology. She is currently president of the Italian Society for Theological Research (SIRT). She has published articles and essays in various collections and journals -- Antonianum, Doctor Seraphicus, Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie, Italia francescana, Quaderni di spiritualità francescana, Ricerche teologiche, Studi francescani, Theotokos -- and has edited the works of Richard of Saint Victor ("La preparazione dell'anima alla contemplazione: Beniamino Minore" -- "Preparing the soul for contemplation: Benjamin Minor") and Saint Anthony of Padua ("Camminare nella luce: sermoni scelti per l'anno liturgico" -- "Walking in the Light:A Selection of Sermons for the Liturgical Year") for Edizioni Paoline.

"The academic community wishes the new Magnificent Rector, Professor Mary Melone, fruitful work at the Pontifical University Antonianum and extends its gratitude to Professor Martín Carbajo Núñez for the great job he did as Rector Magnificent," reads a message from the university in Via Merulana (Rome).

"I'm not for these kinds of labels, women's theology," Sr. Melone said in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano that was published when she was elected Dean of Theology. "And I'm especially not for contrasting, while not ignoring that perhaps in the past there was reason for contrasting. Maybe even in the present -- I don't know. Certainly, space for women should be more ensured. Talking about women's theology does not properly reflect my view -- there is only theology. Theology as research, as an eye turned toward the mystery, as a reflection on this mystery. But right because this is done with different sensibilities, yes. The way of approaching the mystery, the way in which a woman reflects on this mystery, what is revealed, is definitely different from that of a man. But not for contrast. I believe in theology, and I think that theology done by a woman is typical of a woman. Different, but without making a statement. Otherwise it seems to me almost like manipulating theology, which instead is a field that requires honesty of those who face the mystery. We reflect on the mystery that is given -- it's the mystery that is given, it's not we who seek it. Although I obviously approach it from my reality. All of this can be seen and heard even in our academic environment. Today, the complementarity and richness of the different approaches are more useful than contrasting them. In this sense, maybe it's necessary that space be given. But not only by men. We women find it hard to devote ourselves to theology for many reasons. Usually women don't have a space of their own (except for the Salesians), we don't have pontifical universities. There are many problems that are at the root of this scarce presence of women. But it would be really important, a source of enrichment, if the sisters, and even laywomen, could give their input. Because it's richness. Theology done by women is theology done by women -- you can't say it isn't characteristic! But as complementarity and richness, rather than as a counterpoint or demanding space."

With respect to the role of women in the Church, Sr. Melone said in her 2011 interview that, "I think the steps [forward] are real. Of course, what you see may not be commensurate with the age of the Church, as this reflects a development of thought that has gone on for hundreds of years. But I think the new space is real. And I also believe that it's irreversible in the sense that it's not a concession, but a sign of the times from which there is no return. It's not pretense. I think this depends a lot on us women. We are the ones we should start. Women can't measure the space they have in the Church against that of men -- we have our own space that is neither less nor greater than that of men. It's our space. As long as we think that we should get what men have, it won't work. Of course, even if the steps that have been taken are real, that doesn't mean it's all done. A lot can still be done, but the change is there, if you see it, if you're aware of it. And I think (apart from myself) that the election of a woman in a pontifical university is also a sign of this. The meeting that elected me was all male!"

So the Church doesn't need gender quotas? "No, not quotas, but collaboration. Although we hope that the collaboration will grow!

Church in Argentina to open canonization process for Mons. Angelelli as a martyr

Last month, Pope Francis turned over to the local bishop and an Argentine court documents relating to the murder of Bishop Enrique Angelelli. On July 4th, the court sentenced the presumed authors of the crime, Luciano Benjamín Menéndez, former chief of the 3rd Army Corps, and Luis Fernando Estrella, former sub-chief of the Chamical air base, to life imprisonment. Now the bishop of La Rioja says he will begin the process for Angelelli's canonization as a martyr...

Valores Religiosos (English translation by Rebel Girl)
July 6, 2014

Monseñor Marcelo Colombo, the bishop of La Rioja, said on Saturday that after some preliminary steps called for by canon law have been completed, the process to canonize Monseñor Angelelli will be opened.

The prelate confirmed it to Valores Religiosos. "It's possible", he stressed.

In February, Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri anticipated that that was also the Pope's intention -- to publicly claim the "martyrdom" of three bishops who fought for populist causes in Latin America, including Angelelli.

Not surprisingly, the cardinal quoted a homily given by Jorge Bergoglio in 2006 in the chapel in Punta de los Llanos, where the bishop was found dead: "Angelelli was a witness to the faith, shedding his blood, and if anyone was happy, believing it was his triumph, it was actually the defeat of the adversaries."

In line with that preaching and after hearing the sentence, Bishop Colombo asked people "not to crave revenge, or cultivate hatred or resentment" but "entirely embrace" the teachings of Bishop Enrique Angelelli. "Unfortunately, 38 years is a long time. But it is always better to know the truth than long for it forever," he said.