Four Jesuit Missionaries Dead After Battle With Portuguese Colonists

January 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Politics, Uncategorized

In memoriam:
Father Gabriel, Rodrigo Mendoza, Fielding, The Other Jesuit

Iguazu Falls, Argentina–Hundreds of Guarani tribe members, including four Jesuit missionaries, were slain early this week when their Mission, located atop the perilous Iguazu Falls on the boundaries of Argentina and Brazil, was attacked by a coalition of Spanish and Portuguese colonists. The Mission’s land, once under the protection of the Spanish, had been reapportioned according to a treaty signed last month, essentially transferring the land to the Portuguese.

Cardinal Altamirano, who oversees the Mission territories, came to the decision two weeks ago to abandon the Mission. He told Eye of the Tiber that the four Jesuits who helped convert the indigenous people had not only feared a Portuguese invasion, but also feared that the Portuguese colonists would make slaves of the Guarani. “I told them [the Guarani] they must leave the mission. I said that they were to submit to the will of God. They in response said that it was the will of God that they came out of the jungle and built the mission, and they did not understand why God had changed his mind. Then they stormed off, and I knew then that they were going to fight.”

Reports now have surfaced alleging that at least some of the men who fought with the Guarani may indeed have been the Jesuits themselves. Altamirano confirmed to Eye of the Tiber that some of the members of the Jesuit Order had fought along side the Guarani, adding that the head of the Order in Iguazu Falls, Father Gabriel, had not participated in the bloodshed, but rather, had made a dramatic eucharistic procession, amidst gunfire and breathtaking music, with the women and children of the village before all, including Gabriel, were eventually gunned down. “Fr. Gabriel did not want to fight,” a half-naked little indigenous boy told Eye of the Tiber. “He told Brother Rodrigo that if might was right, then love had no place in the world. He said like this, he said, ‘It might be so. It might be so. But I don’t have the strength to live in a world like that, Rodrigo.'” Brother Rodrigo also died in the battle, with one witness saying that Rodrigo, who chose to fight rather than take part in the procession, died, staring, almost longingly at Father Gabriel, as if to say, “We both die now, but oh, how I now yearn to have died like you.”

In response to the massacre, Altamirano text messaged Portuguese Governor Don Hontar asking whether he [Hontar] had the effrontery to tell him that the slaughter was necessary. Hontar in response sent a reply informing Altamirano that the both of them must live in the world, and that the world is thus. Altamirano reportedly replied that thus had they made the world; thus had he himself made it.

At press time, Altamirano has written an email to the Pope covering the events that transpired at the Iguazu Falls, reading, “Holiness, now your priests are dead, and I am left alive. But in truth it is I who am dead, and they who live. For as always, your Holiness, the spirit of the dead will survive in the memory of the living.”

  • LL

    Eye of the Tiber has certainly taken a turn

  • Martha

    So, you want us to go out and rent ‘The Mission?’ Sounds interesting. Robert DeNiro is always excellent.

    • Paul Schumann

      Old DeNiro of course, (by which I mean young DeNiro)… not the DeNiro of today, if you get my drift.

  • Thank you thank you thank you thank you!

  • Sigfrid

    “the four Jesuits who helped convert the indigenous people” – I lol’d. Convert? C’mon, we stuck in the middle ages here or what? Any Jesuit these days knows that a far better idea would be to create some kind of ad hoc syncretistic animist liturgy for them.

    • Susan Gallen

      Oh, good one!

    • Raguel

      If you watch the movie you see that just before the battle one of them said mass for them (the old rite latin mass), and later died leading the people in a Eucharistic procession while holding the monstrance in his hands. Those were real Jesuits.

  • secondeve

    Don’t forget they were also animated by a beautiful sountrack

  • Gail Finke

    Guess you need to have seen the movie to know what the heck taht was about.

  • victor

    At first I was like… huh? But then I was like… heh!

  • Warren Memlib

    Here’s another piece that illustrates the maxim “If truth can be stranger than fiction, it can also be better than satire” (The phrases “[t]he Vatican’s culture ministry” and “Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca, undersecretary of the Vatican’s culture department” sound like imaginary agencies and persons concotted for their satirical value):

    Vatican admits it doesn’t fully understand youth culture

    by Alessandro Speciale
    Religion News Service
    Jan. 31, 2013

    Vatican City — The Vatican’s culture ministry warned Thursday that the Catholic church risks losing future generations if it doesn’t learn how to understand young people, their language and their culture.

    The Pontifical Council for Culture invited sociologists, Web experts and theologians to a three-day, closed-door event Feb. 6-9 aimed at studying “emerging youth cultures.”

    According to a working paper released ahead of the meeting, the church risks “offering answers to questions that are not there” if it doesn’t learn “the cultural reality of young people.”

    A study released in October by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life showed that young people are increasingly disconnected from religion, with one in three Americans aged 18-29 describing themselves as religiously unaffiliated.

    Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca, undersecretary of the Vatican’s culture department, said in an interview that the church’s youth problem is not just “quantitative” — evidenced by a decline in key indicators, such as baptisms and church attendance — but also “qualitative.”

    The youth world, he said, has changed “radically,” but the church “is still offering what it has been offering for the past 500 years.”

    “We keep on giving the same answers but the way questions are posed is now totally different.”

    Even if youth culture is often marked by individualism, superficiality and hedonism, the council’s president, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, said during a Thursday press conference that its “diversity” is “not only negative” but “contains surprising seeds of fruitfulness and authenticity.”

    In his effort to understand young people’s language and feelings, Ravasi confessed to listening to a CD by the late British pop singer Amy Winehouse, noting that “a quest for meaning emerges even from her distraught music and lyrics.”

    In a first for a Vatican meeting, the event will be opened by a rock concert by Italian Christian rock band The Sun.

    Participants, mostly bishops and Catholic lay leaders, will also hear from young Catholic activists from countries such as Indonesia and Madagascar, while American blogger Pia de Solenni will speak on the “emotional alphabet” of young generations.

    • CumExApostolatus

      I didn’t realize the ‘youth’ had any culture other than what the C.I.A. has given them as their ‘culture’.

  • Ioannes

    Hey….. Wait a minute… This story sounds like a movie I saw once…. It had Jeremy Irons in it. Was this story based on Die Hard?