Religion

Pope Francis' Involvement in the 'Dirty War' of Argentina

| by Michael Allen
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Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who was elected 'Pope Francis' by the papal conclave on Wednesday, is facing criticism for being complicit during the so-called "Dirty War" in Argentina in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In 2011, The Guardian reported Argentine journalist Horacio Verbitsky's investigation on the Catholic Church and Bergoglio's involvement in this dark era:

[Verbitsky] recounts how the Argentine navy with the connivance of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now the Jesuit archbishop of Buenos Aires, hid from a visiting delegation of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission the dictatorship's political prisoners. Bergoglio was hiding them in nothing less than his holiday home in an island called El Silencio in the River Plate.

Bergoglio claimed that he hid these people to keep them from the violent military junta, not the Human Rights Commission, even though his Jesuit order and Church leaders publicly endorsed the dictatorship.

Bergoglio later said the endorsement was one of political pragmatism, reports the Associated Press. Bergoglio even gave communion to Jorge Rafael Videla, the brutal Argentine dictator (picture below).

Bergoglio also faced criticism from human rights lawyer Myriam Bregman, who tried to bring the Catholic leader to court for allegedly turning over two priests to Argentine death squads.

"The dictatorship could not have operated this way without this key support," Bregman said, according to the Associated Press.

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Source: The Guardian and Associated Press