Read more @: WikiLeaks: Vatican Dismissed Pinochet Massacre Reports As 'Communist Propaganda'Gen. Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship was responsible for the deaths of as many as 3,200 people in Chile in the 1970s, but the Vatican dismissed reports of bloodshed at the time as "communist propaganda," according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks on Monday.
In a 1973 diplomatic cable addressed to Henry Kissinger, then serving as the United States' Secretary of State, high-ranking Vatican official Giovanni Benelli was quoted as relaying "his and the pope's grave concern over successful international leftisf campaign to misconstrue completely realities of Chilean situation." Benelli dismissed reports of massacre as "unfounded" and "possibly [the] greatest success of Communist propaganda," while explaining away whatever violence had occurred as "unfortunately natural following coup d'etat."
"The cables also showed the Vatican later realized the full extent of the abuses being carried out," according to AFP, "but refused to criticize Pinochet's regime openly and continued with normal diplomatic relations."
Not good press for the Vatican... Tsk tsk.