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…..