The members of the ruling military junta in Chile attended Mass on Wednesday (18 September) as part of the celebrations for Chilean Independence Day.
GV Motorcyclists and horseguards escort motorcade towards cathedral
SV Military officials saluting
SCU General Pinochet salutes and enters cathedral
GV INTERIOR Pinochet (right) seated with President Stroessner of Paraguay PAN TO other officials
GV Altar PAN DOWN TO Bishop Henriquez speaking
GV Stroessner and Pinochet listening
GV ZOOM OUT TO LV Mass in progress
Initials OS/1936 OS/1945
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Background: The members of the ruling military junta in Chile attended Mass on Wednesday (18 September) as part of the celebrations for Chilean Independence Day. General Alfredo Stroessner, the President of Paraguay was an official guest.
During the Mass, Chile's Roman Catholic Primate, Cardinal Silva Henriquez, reaffirmed his determination to publicly speak out against the ruling military Government. Cardinal Henriquez, during the televised sermon, spoke on personal liberties, economic justice and the rule of law which has prevailed in Chile since last September's overthrow of the the Allende Government.
He admitted during the sermon that the Church's role had created tension between it and the Government. He said the Church's attitude was not opposition to the Government but rather critical independence which enabled it to discern how well the dignity of man and his rights were respected.
Observers say the Cardinal's comments reflect a growing disenchantment between the Chilean Government and religious leaders.
Recently Catholic clergy have joined Protestant and Jewish leaders to help people who have been affected by the actions of the Government, such as those who have been interrogated by the intelligence service but who have no money for legal fees. They are also worried about the general level of poverty which exists in Chile.