CLAR, an organization set up in 1960 to represent Latin American nuns and priests, was placed under the intervention of a conservative Spanish Jesuit in 1992, after internal elections were suspended by order of the Vatican. The Colombian nun chosen by CLAR to be their general secretary was also rejected with the suggestion that women are incapable of such responsibility. The Pope presided personally over the conference of several hundred Latin American bishops at which the Brazilian Church, where there is a large number of progressive bishops, was seriously under-represented, with only 39 delegates for over 300 bishops, while Chile, where conservative are in the majority had 10 delegates for only 35 bishops. Liberation theologists were not invited.
With the collapse of communism, the Vatican is regarded by some as the last authoritarian, absolutist institution in Europe. Examples of authoritarian practices are strict censorship -- papal synods and councils are private, offering the press a censored abstract. With regard to its history, officially there is never a change of line and every new departure is elaborately justified from precedent and authority. Embarrassing episodes like the Vatican's role in the second world war and its aftermath are non-history. The Roman Curia is profoundly authoritarian and imperial. In the present Pope it encounters its strongest expression. This Pope has known only three regimes and all three are authoritarian: Nazism, communism and now Rome.