Movement of Priests for the Third World


Movement of Priests for the Third World

The Movement of Priests for the Third World (Spanish: Movimiento de Sacerdotes para el Tercer Mundo, MSTM) was a tendency among the Catholic Church in Argentina which aimed at combining reform ideas which followed the Second Vatican Council with a strong political and social participation. Formed mainly by priests active in villas miserias (shantytowns) and workers' neighborhoods, the Movement of Priests for the Third World was an important canal for social action between 1967 and 1976, close to Leftwing Peronism and, at times, Marxism. It was also close to the CGT de los Argentinos, which was strongly active in the 1969 Cordobazo demonstrations against Juan Carlos Onganía's military dictatorship.

Creation

The CELAM declaration of Medellín (August 1968) tied poverty in the Third World to exploitation by multinational firms of industrialized countries, supporting liberation theology. The Medellín declaration was issued at a time when the Argentine Catholic Church was already in turmoil. Three priests from Buenos Aires, Héctor Botán, Miguel Ramondetti and Rodolfo Ricciardelli had published, a month earlier, the Manifiesto de los 18 Obispos (Manifest of the 18 Bishops), which proposed, among other suggestions, the creation of the MSTM. The first encounter took place in May 1968, with the tacit authorization of the bishops Guillermo Bolatti, Enrique Angelelli, Alberto Devoto, Jerónimo Podestá, Jaime de Nevares, Adolfo Tortolo and Vicente Faustino Zazpe, although none of them would associate themselves with the Movement of Priests for the Third World.

Along with laics, the MSTM dedicated itself to social welfare projects, as well as supporting workers' claims, at a time when the military dictatorship of Onganía had suspended the right to strike as well as other political rights. The MSTM's relationship with trade unions lead many of its members to gravitate towards Peronism, and even Socialism.

In December 1969, more than 20 priests, members of the MSTM, marched on the Casa Rosada to present to Onganía a petition pleading him to abandon the eradication plan of villas miserias.[1]

The same year, the Movement issued a declaration supporting Socialist revolutionary movements, which lead to the Catholic hierarchy, through Juan Carlos Aramburu, coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires, to proscribe priests from making political or social declarations.[2]

One of the MSTM statements advocated socialization of the means of production (i.e. abolition of private ownership of the means of production), leading to its condemnation by the Catholic hierarchy.

Internal conflicts and dissolving

Various political conflicts inside the MTSM, with some advocating a more centralist version of Peronism, others a more horizontal organisation, and yet others supporting Guevarism rather than Peronism, lead to a rupture in the movement in its 1973 encounter. Although the priests did not cease individual actions, the MSTM ceased to function as a united front.

Along with the increase in repression during the Dirty War, the movement lost any capacity for action and finally dissolved itself a few years after Juan Perón's death. Although a few of its members left the clergy, in general to marry, the majority remained priests. A 1988 study estimated that 67% of its members had kept their clerical status.[3]

References

  1. ^ Oscar Anzorena, Tiempo de violencia y utopía (1966-1976), Editorial Contrapunto, 1987, p.49
  2. ^ Oscar Anzorena, 1987, p.53
  3. ^ Ortolani, Luis, La Iglesia de los oprimidos: Sacerdotes para el Tercer Mundo, in Política, cultura y sociedad en los '70, n°6 2002 (Spanish)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Third World — For other uses, see Third World (disambiguation). See also: Three Worlds Theory The three worlds as they were separated during the Cold War era, each with its respective allies as of the period between 30 April 1975 (the fall of Saigon) and 23… …   Wikipedia

  • Asylums and Care For the Insane —     Asylums and Care for the Insane     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Asylums and Care for the Insane     During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries hospital care of the sick of all kinds and nursing fell to the lowest ebb in history (see… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • The Irish (in Countries Other Than Ireland) —     The Irish (in countries other than Ireland)     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Irish (in countries other than Ireland)     I. IN THE UNITED STATES     Who were the first Irish to land on the American continent and the time of their arrival are …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Third Orders — • Lay members of religious orders, i.e. men and women who do not necessarily live in community and yet can claim to wear the habit and participate in the good works of some great order Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Third Orders      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Third order — The term Third Order designates persons who live according to the Third Rule of Catholic religious orders, either outside of a monastery in the world, or in a religious community.Their members, in general lay members of religious orders, i.e. men …   Wikipedia

  • The Counter-Reformation —     The Counter Reformation     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Counter Reformation     The subject will be considered under the following heads:     I. Significance of the term II. Low ebb of Catholic fortunes III. St. Ignatius and the Jesuits,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • The Sacrament of Penance —     The Sacrament of Penance     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Sacrament of Penance     Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted through the priest s absolution to… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • The Slavs in America —     The Slavs in America     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Slavs in America     The Slavic races have sent large numbers of their people to the United States and Canada, and this immigration is coming every year in increasing numbers. The… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • THE EVENTS — introduction European Jewry in the Early 1930s Germany in the Early 1930s the expansion of the reich …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • The Church —     The Church     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Church     The term church (Anglo Saxon, cirice, circe; Modern German, Kirche; Sw., Kyrka) is the name employed in the Teutonic languages to render the Greek ekklesia (ecclesia), the term by which… …   Catholic encyclopedia