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Malvinas Families wish to have a chapel at Darwin cemetery and requested the “Pope's mediation”

Saturday, March 22nd 2014 - 07:50 UTC
Full article 215 comments
The Memorial at Darwin is visited by many Malvinas war veterans    The Memorial at Darwin is visited by many Malvinas war veterans

The Malvinas war next of kin are trying to have a chapel or a sanctuary built at the Darwin cemetery, in the Falkland Islands where the remains of 237 Argentine combatants are buried. The idea is to convert “this space in dispute in a peregrination place”, according to a report from the Argentine official news agency Telam.

 The intention of the Malvinas Families commission comes alight just a few days ahead of another anniversary of the start of the war, when Argentine military invaded the Falklands (2 April 1982), and was transmitted this week to Pope Francis on the sides of the meeting he held with Malvinas veterans and relatives during an open audience in Saint Peter's square.

According to Telam, the relatives asked the Pope's mediation for the construction of the temple because the Apostolic Prefecture of the Falklands is an isolated territorial jurisdiction, since it does not depend from the UK or from Argentina, but rather directly from the Holy See.

The Prefecture was started on 10 January 1952, when the Punta Arenas dioceses in the extreme south of Chile was split, and covers the Falklands.

According to what the Families commission reported to Telam, the chapel, which would be dedicated to Mary of the Peace, has the purpose of converting that “place of dispute into a place of peregrination for all the Catholic universal leadership”.

Telam says the relatives reported that the Argentine Pope, Jorge Bergoglio “was receptive to the request and entrusted those responsible in the Vatican to start the pertinent contacts”

“The acceptance of the initiative brought great spiritual relief to the relatives that in this way are ensured the non profanation of such sacred space, given the insistent internal and external threats that have been taking place to try and erase all vestige of the Argentine presence in the Islands still usurped by the British”, reads a communiqué.

This is because 'frequently the cemetery and in particular the monument to the fallen inaugurated in 2009, suffers attacks such as when the strengthened glass window that protects the image of the Virgin of Lujan which presides next to a great white cross over the memorial, was vandalized.

The Malvinas families commission headed by Delmira de Cao is whom the law entrusted the maintenance and protection of the cemetery, declared a historic place by Argentina and protected under International Humanitarian Law.

Finally the Telam report distributed to Argentine media, states that the cemetery everyday tasks rest on Sebastian Soccodo, one of the few Argentines living in the Falklands who is in charge of looking after the tomb crosses and the huge marble plates where the names of the 649 Argentines killed during the 1982 war are engraved.

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  • Gordo1

    As a Catholic I think “enough is enough”! Argentina did enough damage in the islands in 1982 and their mines are still there endangering human and wild life daily.
    If Argentina were to cease its constant posturing and apologise for events of 1982 then a chapel, under the supervision of the resident Ordinary, could be considered. But, under NO circumstances should the chapel be considered Argentina territory nor should the Church encourage nor allow it to become a shrine.

    Its status should be similar to the Orthodox Cathedral in London - a place of worship and thanksgiving.

    Mar 22nd, 2014 - 08:11 am 0
  • La Patria

    As a Catholic I would also be very disappointed if the Pope allows himself to be used in the Argentine effort. However, until he himself makes a statement or there is direct action from the Vatican, we shouldn't assume he is, just as I don't assume Hollande, Obama or the UN will actively be on Argentina's side, despite what the propaganda machine says.

    Mar 22nd, 2014 - 09:38 am 0
  • Clyde15

    Can anyone list the number of verified cases of vandalism in the cemetery ?

    I presume that they would want this to be declared Argentinian territory.
    Not much chance of this.

    Mar 22nd, 2014 - 10:14 am 0
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