Vatican denies then-bishop silent during dictatorship
VATICAN CITY — The honeymoon that Pope Francis has been enjoying hit a bump on Friday, with the Vatican lashing out at what it called a defamatory and “anti-clerical left-wing” media campaign questioning his actions during Argentina's military dictatorship.
On Day 2 of the Francis pontificate, the Vatican denounced news reports resurrecting allegations that the then-Bishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio failed to openly confront the junta responsible for kidnapping and killing thousands of people in a “dirty war” to eliminate leftist opponents.
Top church leaders had endorsed the junta, who ruled from 1976-83, and at least one priest worked alongside torturers inside prisons. No one has produced any evidence suggesting Bergoglio had anything to do with such crimes. But many activists are angry that as archbishop of Buenos Aires for more than a decade, he didn't do more to support investigations into the atrocities.
On Thursday, the old ghosts resurfaced.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi noted that Argentine courts had never accused Bergoglio of any crime, and that he had denied all accusations against him.
He said the accusations against the pope were made long ago “by anti-clerical left-wing elements to attack the church. They must be firmly rejected.”
The worst allegation against the 76-year-old pope is that as the military junta took over in 1976, he withdrew support for two Jesuit priests whose work in the slums of Buenos Aires put them in direct contact with the leftist guerrilla movement advocating armed revolution. The priests were kidnapped and tortured by members of the military junta, who kept them inside a clandestine center at the Navy Mechanics School.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Scientists warn about killer robots
- Turks, Kurdish rebels deepen hostility
- Obama celebrates gains, notes stalemates on visit to East Africa
- French students unearth 560,000-year-old tooth, oldest body part found in country
- U.S., Turkey plan for ‘safe zone’ free of ISIS in northern Syria
- NATO proclaims ‘strong solidarity’ with Turkey against IS
- Libyans on death sentences for Gadhafi’s son, others: ‘Who cares?’
- Mexican human rights commission question government investigation into missing students
- Former Chilean officers charged
- Turkey couples ISIS bombing runs with striking Kurdish targets
- Obama challenges Kenya on gay rights