Archbishop Silva Henriquez of Santiago has spoken cut on the issue of Church freedom in Chile.
Archbishop Silva Henriquez of Santiago has spoken cut on the issue of Church freedom in Chile. In an interview in Brussels, Mr. Henriquez was asked whether the Church was divided on the issue of human rights under the chilean military junta.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Henriquez replied that although certain members of the Church held different opinions on the subject, there was no question of any serious division within the clergy. When asked whether the government ever carried out any persecution of priests, he said there had been instances of action being taken against priests who had voiced criticisms of the government.
But the Archbishop maintained that whatever happened, priests were allowed to speak their minds and frequently did so. However, he admitted that in this respect priests did get different treatment from the rest of the people. That this was the case, he said, was something the Church was trying to change. The Church was fighting, he told his interviewers for everyone to be accorded to be accorded the same freedom of speech as priests.
AS for the question of political imprisonment, the Archbishop said the Church had a "strong programme" of solidarity for the families of those in jail. Aid was also provided, he said, for the families of unemployed men, both in terms of financial and moral support. When asked what the government thought of this, the Archbishop replied: "They accept it."