Torture priest blames devil for his conviction

The (ironically first-named) Christian von Wernich has just been convicted of involvement in the Argentinian “Dirty War” * of the late 1970s. The BBC reported that:

Christian Von Wernich, 69, was convicted for involvement in seven murders, 42 abductions and 31 cases of torture during the 1976-83 “Dirty War”.

He reported prisoners’ “confessions” to the police and even played a pretty supportive role in their torturing and murdering activities.

They say he attended several torture sessions and absolved the police of blame, telling them they were doing God’s work

Predictably, when it came to himself, he decided confession was not good for the soul and did a runner to Chile when he faced prosecution.

In fact, far from confessing and doing absolution or anything of that nature, he blamed the devil. Not for the murder/torture combo, which is surely the sort of evil activity that the devil might usually get blamed for. But, remember, that was “God’s work”. No, it’s the devil’s fault that his victims were speaking against him.

The priest said he had never violated the prohibition against revealing information obtained in the sacrament of confession and accused those torture victims who gave evidence in court of being influenced by the devil.
“False testimony is of the devil, because he is responsible for malice and is the father of evil and lies,” he said.

One little aside, he worked as priest in Chile under a false name. How easy is it to convince Church authorities you are a priest, then? Can you just turn up in a country and say “Hi, bishop. I’m Father Bloggs” and just get your own parish. You don’t have to hand over a curriculum vitae and some references and supporting documents? That must be the case, otherwise you might imagine that some members of the Chilean RC hierarchy must have been involved…..

4 thoughts on “Torture priest blames devil for his conviction

  1. Heather said: “otherwise you might imagine that some members of the Chilean RC hierarchy must have been involved…..”

    Well, that would NEVER happen, as we know from all the times they have turned sexual predators over to enforcement authorities.

  2. I would have thought it would be quite difficult fake priesthood. It’s a highly technical skill, so being able to demonstrate what you can do might be identification enough. Perhaps it was the religious equivalent of one of those pilot-has-a-heart-attack-can-anyone-fly-a-plane scenarios. Imagine the scene at a church in downtown Santiago…
    The organist notices the priest collapse in a drunken stupor. She cries out but it’s too late and the wine bottle slips from the priest’s open hand spilling its priceless contents over the floor. The cry goes up “Can anyone here perform Mass?”
    “I can!” replies a figure, his face shadowed in a cowl. He leads them out onto the street and flags down a passing bus. “Quick everyone on board!” he commands. Then he turns to the driver and says, “Put your foot to the floor and don’t let the speedometer slip below 55mph. By the way is there anything you’d like to confess to?”
    A call goes out from a cellphone from a passenger on the bus to the local cathedral and the Church works with the police to get the roads closed so that the bus can make it to the local off-licence in just in time to pick up another bottle of Bulgarian Red.

    But oh no! There’s no bottle opener! Disaster seems unavoidable!

    There’s the faint sound of a heavenly choir and the mysterious priest is touched by divine inspiration! He shakes the bottle champagne style and out pops the cork. I know red wine wouldn’t do this, but that’s what miracles are for. The spray from the wine drenches everyone in the Blood of Christ seconds before they are eternally damned.

    Cut to the scene as the strange priest gets off the bus and is roundly applauded by the local Archbishop and his entourage. The Archbishop shakes his hand. “Thank you stranger,” he says. “God only knows what would have happened if we hadn’t finished Mass! But who are you?”
    “Call me,” the stranger pauses, “Father Bastard, the wanderin’ priest.”
    “Today Father Bastard all Santiago is in your debt,” replies the Archbishop, “I may have a little job for you…”

    Now isn’t that more likely than the Catholic Church covering up the misdeeds of yet another priest?

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