|Easter Monday Massacre Rocks Buenos Aires|
|Date||April 22, 2003|
April 22nd, 2003:
Easter Monday Massacre Rocks Buenos Aires -
City declares martial law in desperation, as riots continue to escalate.
What began months ago with the harmless protests of Catholic Church defenders at the doorsteps of the Guardian Children's missions, reached a crescendo yesterday evening when the Metropolitan Cathedral went up in flames. The streets of the city erupted into chaos as innocent bystanders converted into rioters, engaging in acts of vandalism, theft, destruction of public and private property, and even violence and manslaughter, turning the Easter holiday into a national disaster for Argentina.
Over 200 individuals are currently being held in custody for crimes committed during the riot. Of these 200, only a mediocre 25 are being held on charges of arson and are suspected of plotting the destruction. As a result of the mass arrests, the Argentinean government has declared martial law across the city until the fervour of the conflict dies down.
Political critics have chastised the city officials of Buenos Aires for their lack of preparation. As one local commentator, the well-respected Luke Mosca remarked on his webcast last night, "It was obvious to anyone who had been following the news reports of the past two months. Force-feed religious hype to a society that has been virtually screaming for the utter separation of church and state, and this is the sad result."
It has been a common trend seen across the globe - the "mass migrations" as the media has coined it, of people abandoning their organized faiths in favour of the new structure of the Guardian Church. Unlike other nations, however, Argentina has seen a more frustrated transition than most. With a very centralized, established Catholic core, the divergence between the Old World faith, and the new philosophy toted by the Guardian Church movement has caused an impassable divide within the country. As the anticipated Easter weekend approached, both sides of the conflict had been making more and more prominent motions towards bringing the debate to a physical head.
Several weeks ago, a Catholic priest was assaulted by a group of "hoodlums," as the press described them - several with ties to the Guardian Church. This assault came only days after Bishop Antoine Rosette publically advocated that the remaining followers of the faith stand up for their beliefs and show their support for the Church "by any means necessary" - a term that has been hotly debated ever since it was uttered.
The Vatican, as well as the Guardian Church, have both issued statements to the affect that these individuals are acting outside of the realms of their respective organization, and that their words and their actions do not reflect either organization as whole.
Indeed, outside of Argentina - and other similarly affected countries - organized faiths and the Guardian Church have been able to work in tandem with one another, supporting each other and opening dialogues between members. Conflict has been the exception, not the rule, but it remains an issue with which to be dealt with.