Pope Francis Criticized For Not Confronting Dictatorship During 'Dirty War'

a decent story from NPR:

Pope Francis Criticized For Not Confronting Dictatorship During 'Dirty War’

And I’m Audie Cornish.
Argentina’s Dirty War in the late 1970s and early 1980s was a dark time for both the country and the Roman Catholic Church. Thousands were kidnapped or killed by the military junta in a campaign to crush leftist opposition to the government.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, lived in Buenos Aires then but never publicly confronted the dictatorship during its reign, and since kept relatively quiet on the subject. Some human rights activists argue that his silence hurt investigations in the Dirty War’s aftermath, while other accounts reveal that the Pope took major risks to save the persecuted.
For more now, we turn to Michael Warren, Buenos Aires bureau chief of the Associated Press. Michael, welcome to the program.

[huge snip]

CORNISH: Michael Warren, these allegations have been floating around obviously for many years. Are they truly resurfacing now? Is this something that is becoming an issue in Argentina?
WARREN: I have not seen anything new surface in these weeks, it’s important to say. And it’s also really important to say, I tried to make this come out in my story, that this needs to be seen in context and with nuance. Because based on the evidence against Bergoglio, if he’s guilty, well, then much of a generation of Argentines are guilty. Because what he’s being accused of is not doing enough to confront a murderous dictatorship. There were other priests who did and were killed. And there are other priests who committed torture and are serving life sentences.
So, Bergoglio is neither of those things. He was a church leader at the time and he’s now, and has been, the leader of the Argentine church for more than a decade. As such, he has taken on, politically, a lot of battles against this current government that is very tightly in league with leading human rights activists. Those human rights activists are against Bergoglio.
But there are other human rights activists who say this is really not fair. And among them is Nobel Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his Argentine human rights work. And he said Bergoglio was no accomplice of the dictatorship. He cannot be accused of that.

Also see Ed Peters blog In the Light of the Law where he discusses accusations of NSO (Not Speaking Out) which can, of course, be leveled at anyone. If evidence emerged that one did speak out, then one didn’t speak out enough or effectively enough.

Of course, the critics have never lived under a regime where journalists disappear never to be seen again. I hope they never do tho’ the experience might be instructive.

I am rather amazed at how fast these type of stories pop up. First the " media" has " their list of canidates " of who could be Pope, an I almost wonder if in turn these media outlets with their own agendas went out of their way to dig up any kind of dirt on all the Cardinals that had a real chance at becoming Pope.

The story popped up almost immediately after becoming Pope, usually these types of storys take time to find out, but for some reason it is as if someone had this in their pocket as some kind of ah ha gotcha kinda story, when in truth the only people who care are the ones who dug it up in the first place as the story is beyond old and far put to rest, but at least those in the vatican did take the time to speak on the issue. Though i think it could have been just as good to have ignored it flat out.

I agree that they trump this stuff early. Is it sad that I was reading the wikipedia article when Pope Francis was introduced and I thought to myself “I know exactly what the media is going to talk about”? I take comfort in the fact that Amnesty International themselves defended him from some of these accusations and you know AI aren’t fans of the Church.:smiley:

When Pope Benedict XVl was first elected I believe some of the first things to be mentioned by secular media were Hitler Youth and Sex Abuse and that was reiterated continuously during his entire pontificate most times he was mentioned. I expect the secular media will do as they usually do.

well by the end of the month the media is going to find something else to pin on the new Pope, probably blame him for someone catching a cold at the least.

Vatican responds to accusations about Cardinal Bergoglio and the “Dirty War”

The full statement, read at a press conference by Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, is below:

“The campaign against Bergoglio is well-known and dates back to many years ago. It has been carried out by a publication specializing in sometimes slanderous and defamatory campaigns. The anticlerical cast of this campaign and of other accusations against Bergoglio is well-known and obvious.”

“The charges refer to the time before Bergoglio became bishop [of Buenos Aires], when he was Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Argentina and accuse him of not having protected two priests who were kidnapped.”

“This was never a concrete or credible accusation in his regard. He was questioned by an Argentinian 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 Bergoglio did to protect many persons at the time of the military dictatorship. Bergoglio’s role, once he became bishop, in promoting a request for forgiveness of the Church in Argentina for not having done enough at the time of the dictatorship is also well-known.”

“The accusations pertain to a use of historical-sociological analysis of the dictatorship period made years ago by left-wing anticlerical elements to attack the Church. They must be firmly rejected.”

“Regarding “Liberation Theology”: Bergoglio has always referred to the Instructions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He has always rejected violence saying that its price is always paid by the weakest.”

New Pope was not an accomplice of the Argentine dictatorship

Fr. Lombardi also made reference to a declaration made by Nobel Prize winner, Perez Esquivel, “who is known for not being in favour of the Church”: “There were bishops who were accomplices of the dictatorship, but Bergoglio was not one of them.”

‘Bergoglio had no links with the dictatorship,’ Peace Nobel Prize winner

Peace Nobel Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, assured today that elected pope Jorge Bergoglio "had no links with the dictatorship” that ruled Argentina between the years 1976-1983 as he’s been accused for many years.

Speaking to BBC News, Perez Esquivel said that “there were bishops who were accomplices of the dictatorship, but it was not the case of Bergoglio.”

“Bergoglio was questioned because it is said he did not do enough to get out of jail two priests, as he was the Superior of the Jesuits. But I know personally that many bishops called on the military junta for the release of prisoners and priests and these requests were not granted”, said Perez Esquivel.

Bergoglio association with the dictatorship was related to the testimony of María Elena Funes, a catechist who was detained at the ESMA, following the arrest and subsequent disappearance of two Jesuit priests.

More baseless innuendo and slander, reminiscent of Richard Dawkins’s baseless, slanderous calls to have Pope Benedict XVI arrested.

This is really old news regarding Bergoglio, and anyone who took a minute to do a little research would find that these charges were thrown out of court long ago.

The fact that the Media even gives this slander the time of day tells me how untrustworthy and sinister our Media has become. But, actually, I already knew that.:slight_smile:

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