CHILE: CHURCH-STATE RELATIONS

Created: 4/29/1977

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//Cardinal Silva, Primate of Chile, Vatican Bltsking for hie efforts to inoreaee pressure on Pinochet government to improve ite respect for human righta. The olergy'e proving militanae may be aaueing the go^-rnment to heaitate about taking any additional repreosive ettpa that might further antagonize ita oritiee.//

//President Pinochet, reacting in an uncharacteris-ticalT^conciliatory manner, has backed off for the moment from some of the heavy-handed policies that recently incited bitter condemnation from tho Catholic Curoh, the Christian Democratic Party, labor leaders, the press, and leading intellectuals. Pinochet is probably concerned that he had overstepped himself byeries of harsh measures advocatedlose circle of extreme rightist advisers.//

oonfrontation with tho Catholic Church and embarrassment abroad, Pinochet abruptly ousted JusticeDamilano onherusque lawyerrony of Pinochetenchant for stepping on toes, was in office for justonth. He aroused the ire of the

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Catholic hierarchy by publiclyroup of bichops for their atrong censure of social and political conditions in Chile.//

//Darailano's statements appeared in print at a

time when Pinochet has been cautiously seeking to avoid frlc-

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President clearly disavowed the viewa of tho outapoken minister,

//Although junta and church leaders have gone to some mnn to keep their dispute from leadingharp break, the church aoems likely toore belligerentin the future. So far, the most striking evidence ofstridency hashurch attack on the junta for dissolving Chile's remaining democratic political parties last month. The church ia virtually the only stronghold of criticism that has not been silenced by the government.//

//May Day observances planned by the church and

Christian Democratic labor leaders couldlatform for the expression of antigovernment views. They will probaoly be careful, however, to refrain from any action that mighta showdown.

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