Pope 'Dirty War' inaction claims denied
Pontiff did 'much to protect people' under dictator15 March, 18:49
Australia Cardinal George Pell also said on Friday in an interview with ABC radio that the controversy over the role of Pope Francis during Argentina's brutal military dictatorship in the late 1970s was simply "a smear and lie". "Stories have been dismissed years and years ago," he said.
"Amnesty International at the time said those charges were completely false. They were...laid to rest years ago". When asked if the newly-elected pontiff should respond to questions about his alleged inaction during Argentina dictator Jorge Rafael Videla's 'Dirty War', Pell said, "No, absolutely not". A priest who was imprisoned and tortured under Argentinian military dictatorship sought on Friday to lay to rest some questions swirling around what role Pope Francis may have played during a dark chapter of his country's history.
"I have come to terms with those events and for me that story is over," wrote Father Franz Jalics, one of two Catholic priests who were arrested and interrogated under the regime of Videla, a senior military commander who was Argentina's de facto president from 1976 to 1981. "I cannot take any position with respect to the role of Jorge Mario Bergoglio," Jalics continued referring Francis's birth name.
But he added: "I wish Pope Francis a rich blessing from God for his office". Jalics described what happened to him in a statement posted on the German Jesuit website jesuiten.org.