Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, May 1, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Pacifica Senior Living - Calaroga Terrace

Home : News : Pope Francis/Vatican
Vatican dismisses claims against Pope Francis during dictatorship
Catholic News Service


VATICAN CITY — The Vatican dismissed claims that Pope Francis played a direct role in the kidnappings of two Jesuit priests during Argentina's murderous military dictatorship and described them as part of a campaign by "left-wing anti-clerical elements to attack the church."

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, read a statement to journalists March 15 in response to renewed allegations that the future pope failed to protect two young Jesuit priests -- Fathers Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics -- from kidnapping by Argentina's military junta in 1976.

"This was never a concrete or credible accusation in his regard," Father Lombardi said. "He was questioned by an Argentine court as someone aware of the situation but never as a defendant. He has, in documented form, denied any accusations.

"Instead, there have been many declarations demonstrating how much (the future Pope Francis) did to protect many persons at the time of the military dictatorship," the spokesman said.

Father Lombardi also drew attention to recent statements by a leading Argentine human rights activist that the pope "was not directly complicit" with the regime.

"He did not have ties with the dictatorship," said the statement from Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who won the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on human rights during Argentina's "dirty war" from 1976 to 1983. But the activist added that the future pope had "lacked the courage to stand with us in our struggle for human rights."

The Vatican spokesman called the statement a "declaration to be given much attention, because Perez Esquivel is not traditionally favorable to the church."

Then-Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the future pope, was head of the Jesuit province in the country from 1973 to 1979, the height of the clandestine war that saw as many as 30,000 Argentines kidnapped, tortured, murder or disappeared, never to be seen again.

Horacio Verbitsky, author of "El Silencio," a book about the church's role in the country at the time, claims that Cardinal Bergoglio did not endorse the work of the two priests in question, providing a tacit go-ahead for the military to abduct them.

Military officials held and tortured the men before eventually releasing them.

Speaking at the Vatican, Father Lombardi also referred to a news report that one of the two priests, now living in Germany, had said that he and the other kidnap victim had eventually reconciled with the future Pope Francis.

"The campaign against Bergoglio is well-known and dates back to many years ago," Father Lombardi said. "The accusations pertain to a use of historical-sociological analysis of the dictatorship period made years ago by left-wing anti-clerical elements to attack the church. They must be firmly rejected."

The Vatican spokesman said that the future pope, in his years as a bishop, was involved in publicly asking forgiveness on behalf of the church in Argentina "for not having done enough at the time of the dictatorship."

Bergoglio twice refused to testify on the kidnapping incident before taking the stand in 2010. Prosecutors said his testimony failed to answer the allegations.

In an authorized biography, written by Argentine journalist Sergio Rubin, then-Cardinal Bergoglio said he had advised the priests to stop their work.

"I warned them to be very careful," he said, in excerpts quoted by the Associated Press. "They were too exposed to the paranoia of the witch hunt. Because they stayed in the barrio, Yorio and Jalics were kidnapped."

Many documents from the era have been destroyed or lost and many survivors have died, including Father Yorio.

"We have no elements other than the accusations that show Bergoglio was involved," said Jose Maria Poirier, director of the Buenos Aires Catholic magazine El Criterio.

The church's role in the war was complex, Poirier said. Many priests were killed by the military for their work. Other priests involved themselves with the dictatorship.

But "the line that the church most often took was of silence," Poirier said. "It was a dark time in the country's history."

The Association of Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, which advocates for justice in the name of their children who were disappeared during the war, said the silence was harmful.

"We listed 150 priests who were assassinated by the dictatorship; the official church was silent and never made a claim for them," said a statement by Hebe de Bonafini, the group's president.

In 1996, Argentina's bishops admitted they did not do enough during the period.

"We deeply regret not having been able to further lighten the suffering produced by such a great tragedy. We stand in solidarity with all those who feel injured by what happened, and we sincerely lament that sons and daughters of the church were involved in violating human rights," the bishops said in a statement.

"At that time, the bishops thought they should combine firm denunciation of such violations with frequent appeals to government authorities," the statement said. "We must confess that, unfortunately, this approach came up against unyielding stances on the part of many government authorities who erected an almost impenetrable wall."

In 2007, Father Christian von Wernich became the first Catholic priest to be criminally charged for involvement in the war. A court found him guilty of crimes against humanity for collaborating in murders, cases of torture and kidnapping. He was given a life sentence.

After the historic verdict was rendered, Cardinal Bergoglio issued a statement, saying, "We believe that the findings of the court should serve to renew the efforts of all citizens on the path of reconciliation and call us to distance ourselves not just from impunity, but from hatred and bitterness."





Advanced Search












Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved