In the last few days, the Vatican has gone ballistic over revelations the new Pope, Francis I was a collaborator with the fascist Argentine junta in the 1970s. Denials and ad hominem attacks against the accusers are flying thick and fast. I don’t get it. The Vatican’s affinity for fascism is not news.
In 1929 Pope Pius XI made a deal with Mussolini called the Lateran Accords. Mussolini recognized the Vatican as a sovereign state and paid it the equivalent of a billion dollars in today’s money. Recently, English journalists have reported that a lot of Church property in London was purchased with this Mussolini money.
In 1933, Pius XI and his foreign minister, who later became Pius XII, made a deal with Hitler called the Concordat, which essentially legitimized NAZISM and put the stamp of approval on the Hitler regime for German and Austrian Catholics.
Francisco Franco, the fascist ruler of Spain was so confident that he had the support of the Vatican that he notified Pope Pius XI of his intended rebellion against the Spanish Republic a month before he started the Spanish Civil War. Once it began Pius XI made a public statement in Franco’s support, blessing “all those who have taken the difficult and dangerous task to defend and reinstate the honor of God and Religion,” and pronouncing everyone who supported the Spanish Republic a Bolshevik.
So, what’s new here? What’s the big surprise? Why all the shock that Francis I is in lockstep and goosestep with his fascist Vatican predecessors?