There were many radical bishops in the wild years following the Second Vatican Council. But Enrique Angelelli, bishop of La Rioja, Argentina, was probably the most radical. He was a Communist in all but name and stridently supported the terrorist organization "Montoneros", the leftist terrorist branch of the Peronist movement. It can be undoubtedly said that the horrid military dictatorship that governed Argentina from 1976 until the Falklands War was brought about as a brutal overreaction to the terrorist attacks coordinated by Montoneros in favor of a Socialist-Peronist revolution.
Angelelli was so leftist, so radically leftist and so political, that the shocked practicing faithful of his own diocese used to call him in life "Satanelli". He died in a car accident in 1976. Yet Francis has decided to beatify Satanelli as a "martyr"! (It is all very ironic because, even though it is claimed, now, that Fr. Bergoglio opposed the dictatorship, at the time he was considered an ally of the military, and even close to the most brutal of the Junta's members, Admiral Emilio Massera.)
La Nación, the oldest and most respected daily in Argentina (the only major newspaper that supported the pro-life position in their recent victory against abortion in the national Senate), ran the following editorial on this startling piece of news. La Nación is also, by the way, an ally of Francis, and its Rome correspondent, Elisabetta Piqué, is the journalist who is probably closest to Francis -- so this is obviously not moved by any animus against the Bishop of Rome.
LA NACIÓN - EDITORIAL
A Political-Ideological Beatification
Bishop Angelelli does not, in any way, represent the model of Christian exemplariness that the Church demands to start a canonization procedure
July 30, 2018
Angelelli next to a symbol of violence
On August 4, 1976, Bishop Enrique Angelelli died, after the rollover of the vehicle in which he was travelling in National Route 38, in La Rioja, along with Father Arturo Pinto, who survived. In the report made immediately after, following comprehensive search for evidence -- autopsy, accident expert summary, photos of the place of the accident, and the testimony of Pinto, who alleged memory loss and being in a state of shock -- the procedure was archived under the name "Angelelli, bishop Enrique A. rep./death."
However, many years later, friar Antonio Puigjané, a guerrilla who took part in the attack of the La Tablada military base, raising arms against the constitutional [democratically elected] government of Raúl Alfonsín, made a complaint in [the province of] Neuquén in which he put forward the theory that Angelelli had been assassinated. In an opposing view, the daily La Prensa published a statement by bishop Bernardo Witte, of La Rioja, who affirmed: "We were surprised that the mysterious death of bishop Angelelli was characterized as an assassination with no sufficient evidence."
Statements by an eyewitness to the event, Raúl Alberto Nacuzi, affirm that the driver was not the bishop, but Pinto, who was the one who set up the version that a vehicle was following them, and then took shelter under the supposed memory loss. After a court declared lacking jurisdiction in the matter and following the collection of new evidence and the new analysis of past evidence, the Federal Court of Appeals of Córdoba decided, in 1990, that, pondering the investigations and evidence, it was impossible to ascertain that the accident had been caused by criminal action. Other eyewitnesses declared not having seen any other vehicle at that spot, nor fleeing the accident. With the investigation over, the Court determined that, "considering that the data of amassed evidence are not sufficient to demonstrate the perpetration of a crime, in agreement with what was opined by the prosecutor before this Chamber, this Court considers appropriate the stay of the current procedure."
In July 2014, the Federal Verbal Tribunal of Criminal Causes in La Rioja, considering that it was a Crime against Humanity, reached an opposite conclusion, which is not surprising, since it is guided by the prevailing view -- now as then -- that such crimes can be judged outside what is determined by constitutional and criminal law. General Luciano Benjamín Menéndez and Commodore Luis Estrella were thus convicted to life imprisonment for the "crime" (sic) of bishop Angelelli, being charged as "indirect" perpetrators, a legal construction that has been abused in this kind of trials. In this case, it allowed the conviction of hierarchical superiors of a crime that was never proved, and in which there are no "direct" perpetrators at all. The verdict considered certain that the rollover of the car in which Angelelli travelled had its origin in an intentional maneuver by another vehicle that was following orders given by military chiefs.
Even if, hypothetically, it had been a murder, Angelelli would not be a martyr for defending the faith. The La Rioja bishop had an active and proved link with the terrorist organization Montoneros. In the photo that illustrates this text, he is seen celebrating mass with the banner of this organization at his back, while in his homilies he spoke in favor of uprising and proposed arming young people.
With a beatification or canonization, the Church proclaims the Christian exemplariness of the life of a person and authorizes his being the object of cult. A violent and sectarian model must never be proposed. For this reason, we do not think right the words of the current bishop of La Rioja and second vice-president of the Bishops' Conference, Marcelo Colombo, who, when receiving news of the beatification, affirmed: "It is a recognition of the brave witnesses of the Kingdom of God."
It is well known how rigorous are the beatification procedures, how thorough and tedious are the presentation of evidence to endorse a cause. This thoroughness was not applied in this case.