Last month, Wikileaks released a confidential 2005 U.S. embassy cable that provides an inside perspective on the Vatican’s views of Latin America’s leftward drift in recent years following the election of Hugo Chavez et al. The cable, entitled “Vatican Weary of Leftist Latinos,” summarizes the views of Cardinal Leonardo Sandri (then an archbishop) expressed in conversation with the American ambassador. Sandri, to whom the cable refers to as “chief of Vatican internal operations,” noted the Vatican’s concerns about the leftward shift. According to the cable, Sandri “responded favorably to the idea that direct aid from the U.S. Catholic Church to the Venezuelan Church to help the latter build up its social programs could help counteract Chavez’s appeal and blunt his attacks on the Church,” though an overly politicized stance would likely hurt the Church’s appeal in the region. The cable specifically mentions fears about “Masonic groups” that would likely attack clergy that took an openly political stance against leftist politicians.

Read the full cable here, and see a Mexican newspaper report (in Spanish) here. (via)