‘Dirty War’ Questions for Pope Francis

Exclusive: The U.S. “news” networks bubbled with excitement over the selection of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to be Pope Francis I. But there was silence on the obvious question that should be asked about any senior cleric from Argentina: What was Bergoglio doing during the “dirty war,” writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry (Updated March 14, 2013, to delete incorrect reference to Bergoglio in Guardian article)

If one wonders if the U.S. press corps has learned anything in the decade since the Iraq War – i.e. the need to ask tough question and show honest skepticism – it would appear from the early coverage of the election of Pope Francis I that U.S. journalists haven’t changed at all, even at “liberal” outlets like MSNBC.

The first question that a real reporter should ask about an Argentine cleric who lived through the years of grotesque repression, known as the “dirty war,” is what did this person do, did he stand up to the murderers and torturers or did he go with the flow. If the likes of Chris Matthews and other commentators on MSNBC had done a simple Google search, they would have found out enough about Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to slow their bubbling enthusiasm.

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis I, in 2008. (Photo credit: Aibdescalzo)

Bergoglio, now the new Pope Francis I, has been identified publicly as an ally of Argentine’s repressive leaders during the “dirty war” when some 30,000 people were “disappeared” or killed, many stripped naked, chained together, flown out over the River Plate or the Atlantic Ocean and pushed sausage-like out of planes to drown.

The “disappeared” included women who were pregnant at the time of their arrest. In some bizarre nod to Catholic theology, they were kept alive only long enough to give birth before they were murdered and their babies were farmed out to military families, including to people directly involved in the murder of the babies’ mothers.

Instead of happy talk about how Bergoglio seems so humble and how he seems so sympathetic to the poor, there might have been a question or two about what he did to stop the brutal repression of poor people and activists who represented the interests of the poor, including “liberation theology” priests and nuns, during the “dirty war.”

Here, for instance, is an easily retrievable story from Guardian columnist Hugh O’Shauhnessy from 2011, which states:

“To the judicious and fair-minded outsider it has been clear for years that the upper reaches of the Argentine church contained many ‘lost sheep in the wilderness’, men who had communed and supported the unspeakably brutal Western-supported military dictatorship which seized power in that country in 1976 and battened on it for years.

“Not only did the generals slaughter thousands unjustly, often dropping them out of aeroplanes over the River Plate and selling off their orphan children to the highest bidder, they also murdered at least two bishops and many priests. Yet even the execution of other men of the cloth did nothing to shake the support of senior clerics, including representatives of the Holy See, for the criminality of their leader General Jorge Rafael Videla and his minions.

“As it happens, in the week before Christmas [2010] in the city of Córdoba Videla and some of his military and police cohorts were convicted by their country’s courts of the murder of 31 people between April and October 1976, a small fraction of the killings they were responsible for. The convictions brought life sentences for some of the military.

“These were not to be served, as has often been the case in Argentina and neighbouring Chile, in comfy armed forces retirement homes but in common prisons. Unsurprisingly there was dancing in the city’s streets when the judge announced the sentences.

“What one did not hear from any senior member of the Argentine hierarchy was any expression of regret for the church’s collaboration … in these crimes. The extent of the church’s complicity in the dark deeds was excellently set out by Horacio Verbitsky, one of Argentina’s most notable journalists, in his book El Silencio (Silence),” which alleges Bergoglio’s complicity in human right abuses.

The Guardian article stated: “The most shaming thing for the church is that in such circumstances Bergoglio’s name was allowed to go forward in the ballot to chose the successor of John Paul II. What scandal would not have ensued if the first pope ever to be elected from the continent of America had been revealed as an accessory to murder and false imprisonment.

“One would have thought that the Argentine bishops would have seized the opportunity to call for pardon for themselves and put on sackcloth and ashes as the sentences were announced in Córdoba but that has not so far happened. … Cardinal Bergoglio has plenty of time to be measured for a suit of sackcloth – perhaps tailored in a suitable clerical grey.”

Now, instead of just putting forward Bergoglio’s name as a candidate for Pope, the College of Cardinals has actually elected him. Perhaps the happy-talking correspondents from the U.S. news media will see no choice but to join in the cover-up of what Pope Francis did during the “dirty war.” Otherwise, they might offend some people in power and put their careers in jeopardy.

In contrast to the super-upbeat tone of American TV coverage, the New York Times did publish a front-page analysis on the Pope’s conservatism, citing his “vigorous” opposition to abortion, gay marriage and the ordination of women. The Times article by Emily Schmall and Larry Rohter then added:

“He was less energetic, however, when it came to standing up to Argentina’s military dictatorship during the 1970s as the country was consumed by a conflict between right and left that became known as the Dirty War. He has been accused of knowing about abuses and failing to do enough to stop them while as many as 30,000 people were disappeared, tortured or killed by the dictatorship.”

[For a limited time, you can purchase Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush family for only $34. For details, click here.]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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68 comments on “‘Dirty War’ Questions for Pope Francis

  1. Brotherdoc on said:

    With 2/3 of the SCOTUS Catholic (and the other 1/3 Jewish), you are right, we are unlikely to hear anything that would offend those in power.

    • arcticangie22 on said:

      Anton Scalia must REALLY Like Pope Francis….just his kind of man…a man of “principles”, a man who has the “best interests of his fellow citizens” at heart. Yup, they should get together and drink a little wine or something, plot out how to “help” the poor, talk about “social justice”.

      • Keep in mind that Scalia is a conservative in line with others from the cold war who see nothing wrong with military dictatorships as a means of slowing communism. In fact, these neo-cons and coldwar veterans are perfectly fine with the ‘dirty wars’ of South America and the push for fascism in Europe. Most probably have relatives that supported WWII fascism and certainly don’t mind when the catholic church is largely silent during crimes against humanity so long as it helped promote business and stopped socialism.

  2. Marlen on said:

    This is dirty propaganda backed up by the Argentina president. Most of it pure bullshit.
    He questioned the soberb of the argentine government, so now he is hated by mafia (goverment)

    • What are you talking about @Marlen? It’s a third world country president you’re refferring to. She has in no way the power to pull that off. Definitely no need to use bad language to dismiss this article’s data. There are pictures everywhere, and I’ve lived here my entire life and proudly (Argentina), I know what kind of person he is. If the Catholic Institution had any remote will to change for bettter, they woulnd’t have chosen such a controversial character to be its leader. I even heard him say outrageous kind of stuff like marriage equality being the ‘The Devil’s Play’. I mean come on. Even you would have to admit that this is almost, almost hilarious.

    • Guillermo on said:

      Sorry, but the relationship between Cardinal Bergoglio and members of the military government came to light in 1986, many years before Cristina Fernandez took office…

    • Sorry, but no. I´m argentinian and I´m against the current president (who is an idiot that said that diabetes was a disease of the rich) and Bergoglio is as worse that they are describing. If you can read spanish just look for old newspapers and you would know. I don´t know how the Vatican made such a poor choice.

      • trentgal on said:

        ok ….so we can call the pope….PAPA PANCHOVILLA……

        • Adolph R. on said:

          Hey, Trentgal,you must be one of those americans that think that the USA “manifest destiny” is to dominate the entire continent(maybe the world?), you can not compare this guy to Pancho Villa, who was a Mexican revolutionary, and his cause was mostly just.

    • That is not true. The human right groups are working very hard to bring justice here in argentina at last. the case it’s in the justice, he was called to declare and the executive branch does not take part in it. if you want to evade the truth go on, but facts are facts.

    • Pablo Cedron on said:

      You are right Marlen.
      Bergoglio was/ is a firm oppositor to the policies and corruption of Kirchners Govt.
      Hence the attack of the officialist newspaper Pagina 12 and Verbitsky.
      It would be great that Verbitsky could explain why he wrote the book “El poder aéreo de los argentinos” in 1979, supporting the Junta.

  3. RW Nye on said:

    Time to check some facts: Bergoglio was NOT the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires during the “Dirty War.” The man who was Archbishop of Buenos Aires at that time would have been the one responsible for letting the island be used as a concentration camp to hide the prisoners. Bergoglio’s role is not entirely clear. A thorough vetting of this man should have been done and probably will be, now that it’s too late. I suspect that the outcome will show a man who did some brave things to protect some individuals, but who–when leading the Argentine bishops in a national apology in 2012, may have had a lot to be sorry for.

  4. I loved your article, but I have one correction to make. In Argentina we dont call that period “dirty war” because it supposes that it was a war between the State and citizens, and this is not correct because it was not a war but a bloodbath. We prefer to call it dictatorship and crimes against humanity.

  5. Jim Broomall on said:

    I did hear about this dirty war stuff listening to NPR right after the announcement. The person doing the interview did not seem to approve of what they were saying but let the interview go on. I have not heard them interviewing that person again or have heard that interview being rebroadcast.

  6. dario cesar hervatin on said:

    Bergoglio es la dictadura, tiene una causa abierta por la desaparición de 2 jesuitas, el abogado querellante es Marcelo Parrilli. Hay una foto en la que Bergoglio le da la hostia en la misa al dictador Videla. Videla mismo dijo que la iglesia los apoyo fuertemente y en todo momento en la represión.

    • LA TENES ADENTRO K.

      • Wonderful. You’re so articulate and elocuent when it comes to criticism. You certainly have your way with words. Go read a book, man. Learn how to express yourself and try to get an idea of your own.

    • Mariela on said:

      Animal!!!El de la foto con Videla es Derisi!!Bergoglio tenía 40 y pico en la época d la foto!!Por brutos ignorantes que venden basura como vos, así está la Argentina!!Patético y muy vergonzante….

      • Y tb por como animales como LTA cuyo unico aporte intelectual a la discusion es “La tenes adentro K”. Como se nota que entre ustedes tambien hay gente estudiosa y laboriosa.

      • Carlos on said:

        me sumo a tu opinión Mariela y agrego que en la época de la dictadura Francisco I, como se lo debe llamar de ahora en mas, era el jefe de la comunidad católica jesuita, tenia 37 años, no era obispo de BS.AS. El ayudo y escondió a esos dos curas, hoy en día se sabe que el no tuvo nada que ver con la dictadura, es mas, intercedió ante el asesino de Videla para que no maten a esos sacerdotes. La presidente de argentina, no acepta opiniones diferentes a las que ella cree que son ciertas. Y por ultimo gente que no vive en argentina, ni sufrió todo lo que el pueblo argentino paso, no de tendrían que opinar.

    • Luciano on said:

      La foto de la hostia la hicieron circular, pero no es Bergoglio….se hace dificl quererlos muchachos K

  7. Martín on said:

    “http://www.theclinic.cl/2013/03/13/las-conexiones-del-nuevo-papa-francisco-i-y-la-dictadura-argentina/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+The_Clinic+(The+Clinic”)

  8. Martín on said:

    “http://www.theclinic.cl/2013/03/13/las-conexiones-del-nuevo-papa-francisco-i-y-la-dictadura-argentina/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+The_Clinic+(The+Clinic)”

  9. Giveoutmore on said:

    Give the guy a chance!

    • Absolutely not. In recent years he has been actively against every single progressist bill in my country. Thank goodness he couldn’t avoid Euthanasia and Marriage equality to become legal within the entire argentine territory. Abortion is a subject that is much more difficult, but I’m confident we will get there, like our latin american neighbour Uruguay.

      • arcticangie22 on said:

        “against every progressist bill in my country”…well, that blows the whole “he’s into social justice thing” out the window. Why does our media choose to lie to us about EVERYTHING?!? (even a man who isn’t one of OUR politicians, war-mongers or Corporate CEOs.) Why indeed…corporate/Facist lyers! I occasionally hear a news comment/story on NPR and others, just once, then it’s censored. What kind of world is this?

    • News Nag on said:

      Not if he’s guilty of Argentine nazi general enabling would I give him a chance. Not a chance. Wouldn’t deserve a chance. Apology or not, especially if the apology hid the facts of complicity.

  10. anotherblackguy on said:

    “With 2/3 of the SCOTUS Catholic (and the other 1/3 Jewish), you are right, we are unlikely to hear anything that would offend those in power.”

    Shutup you idiotic bigot. What does the Supreme Court have to do with this anyway? Please.
    ps. of course you had to get some anti-Semitism in there right? Jagoff.

  11. Rehmat on said:

    Jews worldwide welcomed newly elected Pope Francis as a friend on Wednesday (March 13), and pointed in particular to his sympathetic and strong reaction to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in his native Argentina.

    “As far as I have heard and read in the few minutes since he was elected pope, he has shown deep signs of respect and friendship towards the Jews,” said Riccardo Di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome. “It’s a good starting point.”

    As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis “has had a warm relationship with the Jewish community of Argentina, and enjoyed close friendships with many prominent rabbis,” said Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee.

    Pope Francis bore bad news for Argentina’s Jewish foreign minister Hector Timerman, who recently signed a deal with Iranian foreign minister to let a third party investigate who was behind the bombing at AMIA and Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/10/01/israel-us-fear-iran-argentina-bilateral-talks/

    • borat on said:

      What the hell has this got to do w/Jews? This terrorist apologist whitewashes arab terror against innocent people in that bombing which is directly linked to an iranian financed hizbollah operation.

  12. Larita on said:

    I’m from Argentina and this election is really disgusting. The local Justice is investigating Mr. Bergoglio because of his active involvement in the last military dictatorship (CIA backed up). But let me be clear on this thing: In my country there were not a ‘dirty war’, in fact, it was not a war, it was a systematic plan created in Washington to install neoliberalism accross Latin American. I feel very sad whenever I read or hear a progressive american thinker talking about ‘dirty war’.

    • arcticangie22 on said:

      Fear not…America has brought NeoLiberalism home and is using it on the so-called 99%. I will call the U.S. sponsored atrocities The Argentine Genocide.Many of us know our government’s crimes…we struggle to overcome the corporate media’s propaganda and the brainwashing of our fellow citizens. Our government has many children and grandchildren of Nazi lovers.

  13. @Nay Argentina isn’t a “third world” country. @Larita, I’m an American and I understand what you mean. Many of my people get told what to think, we’re brainwashed to easily by the media and government. Just ask the average American what he thinks of Hugo Chavez…

    • arcticangie22 on said:

      Yes! I am a fellow American and the government is salivating over Chavez’s death. NBC tried to villify Joe Kennedy for saying Chavez was a great man for giving poor Americans free or reduced price oil through Kennedy’s organization. Shame on brainwashed Americans to stand for this(of course the Republicans and the media have spent the last thirty years vilifying the Kennedys…especially President Kennedy.) That was followed by a “Bush Family Lovefest” this week…George Prescott Bush starting his political career in Texas- how quaint!(Prescott for GreatGrandfather Prescott who was a Nazi sympathizer and a planner of a coup to overthrow Pres. Franklin Roosevelt). NeoLiberalism at home too.

    • @Jonah , I know it’s pejorative but nevertheless, I was trying to prove a point. We are not part of G7 and we don’t have a permanent chair at UN’s Security Council. There is no way the Argentine President can make such a propaganda worldwide. @Marlen ‘s argument was insane. And may I point out that just like Fox, in Argentina there are big corporate medias who make propaganda against the President the whole time, and they are very content with Francis I. Of course, they became big when the dictatorship began. They are also accomplices.

  14. News Nag on said:

    It was HIS OWN holiday home on an island where Bergoglio hid the to-be-murdered political prisoners from the visiting Inter-American Human Rights Commission. Read the damned story straight, RW Nye – you totally misread the article in your haste to let your knee jerk rightward. The article said Bergoglio was Buenos Aires archbishop in 2010. YOU said the article said during the Dirty War. You are wrong, and don’t really care about the deaths of all those innocents. You just want to protect your little Catholic crime syndicate. Are you in favor of the child rape also?

  15. arcticangie22 on said:

    RW Nye is another Republican/Right-Wing troll…the bastion of NeoLiberalism at home in the U.S.A.. They seem to comment on every site…I could visit 1,000 sites in a day and find comments such as Nye’s on every one. They are like spam bots…everywhere. Bringing every story or comment around to their zoombie worldview…Limbaugh coined the perfect word for it “dittoheads”, unthinking robotic-like people much like mimeograph machines (where dittos came from)spewing out their hate, lies, politics and stupidity.

    • arcticangie22 on said:

      I like also Bergoglio’s OWN HOLIDAY HOME…such a humble, plain living type of cleric…why he didn’t even live in the Archbishop’s mansion(according to the media-NBC) and helped the poor(by turnig his back while they were slaughtered?). He must have liked when Pope Benedict admonished the priests of Latin America not to engage in “social justice”.(yes…always encourage the peasants to accept their lot in life…so the juggernaught of the wealthy and criminal can proceed unabated).

  16. Carolina on said:

    Hey, I’m an argentinean woman’s who’s, from now on, saying farewell for good to my hopes of legal abortion ’round here. With an argentinean pope in Rome we’re unlikely to see a separate State from Catholic Church, ever.
    So sad.

    Bergoglio supported fascism here, gave away tons of people in time of dictatorship, specially priests who worked in ghettos during that period, among the poorer and the loner.
    I suggest you DO NOT use the Expression DIRTY WAR. It’s offenssive around here. There was no war, it was a dictatorship killing 30000 people at least, dissapearing bodies that havent been identified or even found yet. So cruel and marked us terribly as a society. Just saying.

    Still, really glad for this forum is discussing so deeply and opnely about it. My american friends are not the only cool amercian people! American people ’round here seem really cool.

    And dont forget free comerce in south america didn’t step on our heads thanks to Hugo Chavez. That, any argentinean knows, not only the people that likes our government. Long life to Chavez! And may the karma open eyes for those venezuelan people celebrating his death in Miami and all over the world.

    ♥Hugs♥

    • arcticangie22 on said:

      Chavez did keep “free” trade out…hooray for him! Free trade hurts everyone(except the wealthy who benefit greatly. Free trade is destroying an economic life for the 99% in America and destroying everything in developing countries. We are all becoming slaves who must feed and house ourselves with no jobs, little money and no say.

  17. I’m also from Argentina, and if Bergoglio had some involvement with the military during the dictatorships, the Justice would already have sentenced him. And nothing like this happened. So he’s innocent. Everything else written before, is mere speculation.
    Now what it is true, is that there is a “dirty campaign” by local president CFK followers, because pope Francis criticized the actual goverment decisions and mis-managent of economic and social issues. All leaders of the actual government say they are fioghting for the poor, but they all live in Recoleta, Palermo o Puerto Madero. And they all became rich (millionaires) during their time in office. What they are really doing is fighting for themselves; miles away from being national and popular.
    Long live new pope Francis.

    • The allegations against Bergoglio arose before the current Government came to power. They did not come about because he spoke against their activities. You need to check your dates.

      Also, the fact that a trial has not taken place does not mean he is innocent. The questions remain, and will continue to remain until definitive answers are found. His character is in question.

  18. You’re right on the money! Allegations came before current government. Now the current government is fueling theese allegations on their “bought” media! Get informed pal, before giving an opinion!

    And congrats again! You’re really smart and on the money again! Everyone is innocet untill proven guilty! So pope Francis is innocent, and all allegations are mere speculation and hearsay!

    Long live pope Francis!

  19. YOARGENTINO on said:

    You should investigate a little more about some pics, is the MF Videla and Monsignor Derisi. And that time, the NEW Pope Francisco 1 got only 40 years, was simply a Father. What about your sources?

  20. I’m also from Argentina @Ale , and what has been demonstrated are his views on euthanasia, marriage equality and abortion. That has been very recent so you can’t argue with me on that one. But fear not, his involvement with the dictatorship will be proven sooner than later (probably after he dies and the Catholic Church admits its mistakes, always like a thousand years after).@Jonah , I know it’s pejorative but nevertheless, I was trying to prove a point. We are not part of G7 and we don’t have a permanent chair at UN’s Security Council. There is no way the Argentine President can make such a propaganda worldwide. @Marlen ‘s argument was insane. And may I point out that just like Fox, in Argentina there are big corporate medias who make propaganda against the President the whole time, and they are very content with Francis I. Of course, they became big when the dictatorship began. They are also accomplices.

  21. @articangie22 Have you watched South of the Border yet? If not, I highly reccomend it to you. It depicts wonderfully the way corporate american media represents latin american presidents who go and try to be remotely indepedient from Washington.

  22. Armie Fortune on said:

    Nothing seems to change some journalist are joy killer. They are always looking for something negative that doesn’t exist to spread bad blood. I’msure he had anything to do with your accusation it would have catch up with him by now obviously.

  23. Terry Washington on said:

    We don’t know much about the new Pope Francis I, but let’s just cool our jets and take a wait and see approach- look at the bright side of his election- at least he’s not Cardinal Dolan( just reiterates the old Vatican joke that he who enters the conclave as a prospective Pontiff leaves it usually as still a Cardinal!).
    Terry

  24. garby francis leon on said:

    The media incorrectly identifies Bergoglio as “Hispanic” when, of course, he is Italian, his parents having emigrated from the mother country. So the cardinals haven’t wandered as far from home as the media claims – this pope is Italian one generation ago, and certainly can’t be called Hispanic because he speaks Spanish. That wouldn’t be very important if it hadn’t been for the close relationship between the Italian pope Pius XII (a pedophile, some have claimed) and those Nazis and fascists trying to escape Europe after the collapse of Hitler’s Germany at the end of WWII – Martin Borman and others traveling on Vatican passports to find a safe haven in Argentina, South America’s most ethnically-cleansed nation where you will be hard-pressed to find a black or brown citizen, and where many surnames reflect Italian and German European ancestry. Given the glorified fascist political history of the Perons (remember “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina?”) and the staggering cruelty and violence of the repression of the 1970′s, anyone of Bergoglio’s age should have a lot of explaining to do, while the action of the college of cardinals looks increasingly like a return to European fascism’s most remote, safe haven in the selection of its “Hispanic” pope. Thanks to Bob Parry and Consortium for raising questions about all this – let’s hope many more answers will be forthcoming as the true history of Argentina and its elevated cardinal comes to light.

  25. Mark P. Kessinger on said:

    Bergoglio, now the new Pope Francis I

    Pardon my pedamtry, but . . . no, he isn’t now “Pope Francis 1″ (nor even “Pope Francis I”), but is merely “Pope Francis.” No Pope EVER has the number “1″ or “I” appended to his name during his reign. That number is only appended if and when there is another pope who chooses the same name.

  26. DIANE M. KOHAN on said:

    Even being an ELCA Lutheran (progressive), I was so excited about seeing the white smoke coming from the chimney on the Vatican roof, Humility, Jesuit, no frills, a pastoral guy. This was from the T.V. Then I listed to MPR, 88.1. And they covered the whole enchilada. When heard that he was part of the disappearing people military complex-inspired project my heart stuck in my throat. I like reading about being a robot and taking the major media on T.V. as happy talk and no tough questions. Is this Pope elected to snuff out the ongoing investigation in Argentina? I hope the investigation is being done in more than one country. I went to Nicaragua twice with the church to immerse myself in liberation theology where we met the contras and Sandinistas in a Reconciliation Center where they sat in the same room together listening to a priest sharing liberation theology. It was very humble, if you want to talk humility.

  27. Luther Bliss on said:

    The Guardian link given in the article has been ‘updated’ to withdraw those claims – but a Canadian Broadcasting article reveals that Bergogilo has actually had to testify in court about similar charges:

    “Bergoglio testified about the matter in 2010 after twice refusing to appear in open court, but “his answers were evasive, human rights attorney Myriam Bregman said.”

    The lay ‘anti-Marxist’ organization ‘Comunione e Liberazione’ may be worth some investigation as it’s roots are in Italy and it links the last two Popes together.

    Bergoglio was the runner-up to Ratzinger last conclave and like him appears to be a elderly conservative with murky links to former fascist dictatorships.

    Seems like more of the same…

  28. Luciano on said:

    Being an Argentinian and not a a catholic one I can assure you this is dirty propaganda from Argentina´s current government.
    Francis has been always critical of them and the government and their “journalists” use this tactic very often.
    This doesn´t mean that the Church did not look the other way when crimes were being committed but Bergoglio was not an accomplice. Maybe he just wasn´t “courage” enough, neither was Cristina Fernandez (Argentina´s president) although her rhetoric is different.

  29. Yes! His connection to Communion and Liberation is KEY to everything about him. Read the chapter on C&L in my book, “The Pope’s War.” It is a neo fascist sect pushed HARD by the previous two popes (like Opus Dei only not as secretive)–very wealthy and powerful and totally hierarchical, patriarchical and with a moral agenda that is all about sex (or no sex). Its theology is this: Obey, Obey, Obey. Not only is Ratzinger turned on by it (in retirement he will be waited on by women members of C&L) but also Cardinal Law of Bostonian pedophile priest notoriety.

  30. Rehmat on said:

    Israeli president Shimon Peres has just invited Pope Francis I to visit Israel and learn first-hand what Israrli Jews think of Christianity.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/12/12/jews-against-christians/

  31. michael hamrin on said:

    Mr. Parry, I have been reading your stuff for over a decade, mostly approving of your muckraking perspective. However, it is slanderous to declare the new Pope to have been directly complicit in the horrific blood-letting during a reign of terror in Argentina. The “should have done more” accusation is cheap shot journalism. The Lutheran Dietrich Boenhoffer returned to Germany to oppose Nazism and was martyred. He left behind a fiance and a church. Those of us who do not have such awesome responsibilities need to be a little more circumspect in our accusations. The selection of a new Pope is mystical, not political. Muckrakers must guard against cynicism, especially in realms where they are ignorant.

  32. Stil missing the intelligence and laughter of Raymundo Gleyser, great Argentine director and cinematographer who was brave enough to make The Traitors, a 1975 full color feature length film about torture in the hands of corruption. He was here in the states promoting his film before he went back to Argentina. We recieved death threAts, etc. I begged him not to go back, as did others. He felt that as a man he had to make a stand for his people. He was dragged from his home, tortured and thrown from a plane into rhe sea. Perhaps you had to be there, at that time, to understand why we came to call it the dirty war.

    Those of us who have sought to keep light on our lost loved ones and the policies and actions that led to their demise want answers. Pope or not, he was fortysomething, I was twentysomething, I still want answers.

  33. Jo Wiest on said:

    It seems that the new Pope is another very old hypacrite. Sadly, some things never change.

  34. If you want to get into the base level Marian side of Catholicism, you will find alot of Catholics are googling the vision of Malachi that this pope would be the last and that he would be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Francis addressed this in Marian code by saying he was retreating to pray, not to ” God the Father” but to “Our Blessed Mother.” Faithful Catholics do not believe Mary will spare him the proper penance for his silence in a time of great need. His role in the Videla torture trials is as yet to be determined. The Blessed Mother might just say “turn over the files” because she has a big soft spot for the Madres y Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo.

  35. CarolinaPach on said:

    I’m the same Carolina that wrote before.

    @Ale, there are tons of investigation about Bergoglio, it seems that your sources are just facebook, google and wikipedia. I’m not talking about a picture only. Watch out for your black and white division in your head. It’s a country with individuals, not ‘k’ and ‘anti-k’. I’m an romantic anarchist myself, you don’t seem to see colors. Seems to you that if anybody in Argentina is against Church or Pope, is on Cristina Fernandez’s side. Yay…Goodluck with that reasoning!

    @articangie22 , Chavez did NOT let free trade downhere, did you hear about ALCA and what happened some years ago in Mar Del Plata? There’s a reason why Mercosur exists, and that benifit in a way us, south american people and industries. Besides, he had an intresting trade with Cuba: exchanged oil for doctors. I dunno if you’re aware Cuba has the most proffessional medicine in LatinAmerica. He payed with oil so cuban doctors would train doctors in Venezuela. That blew me away.

    Hopefully, and really hope so, we’re all wrong about Bergoglio. Just do some research, that’s all i’m saying, there are many books and papers about it, Horacio Verbitsky investigated a lot. I jkust remembered a friend posting a document yesterday. He’s a journalist and this is first hand document which was not manipulated https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=507778235946174&set=a.100545033336165.206.100001420052121&type=1&theater
    for those who doesnt speak spanish, what can i say? It’s a document in which Bergoglio gave testimony about a priest who worked in a ghetto, and why they must expell him from church. In other words, he didnt help this priest when he was searched by the forces, instead he gave him away.
    Please someone translate it right for me.

    On the other hand, here, lots of Verbitskys articles about Bergoglio and Church backthen in ARgentina
    http://www.taringa.net/posts/noticias/5189962/Bergoglio-Dictadura-e-Iglesia—Por-Verbitsky.html

    Hope this will be helpful for you.

  36. Media-Driven Opinion Robot on said:

    I am not from Argentina and I first heard of this guy 24 hours ago. But thanks to mass media, Wikipedia, and my favorite blogs, I now have a lot of instant opinions about him, and instant facts to back up my opinions, and I will now confidently assert those opinions in debate!

    • Snarks can say what they want, we miss our dead and still dream the nightmare. It was dirty, it was a war, the slow wheels of justice still turn….

  37. Walter Chledowski on said:

    This whole article is JUST CRAP !!! In 1976, Jorge was a “Baby Priest” so what influence do you think he had against a ruthlass dictator?!! Give the man a chance to have an influence on World thinking as the new Pope. A young seminarian witnessed the brutality of Nazi rule, in Poland, and later the cruelity of Comunist dictatorship, as a priest. Later in life, this same man returned to Poland and his influence brought down the comunist government, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, and the over throw of comunist governments in all of Europe. That is the legacy of Pope John Paul II.

  38. Nemo Starem on said:

    he was NOT baby priest, he was 40 years old with studies on Philosophy and Theology, and the Church head of a catholic whole province!

  39. Karen Romero on said:

    You know what is so great about Robert Parry. He is a professional journalist. He attempts to find the truth, then write the truth, and does so…no matter how hard that is to do.

  40. incontinent reader on said:

    Interesting that Videla didn’t get the boot until his government engaged in a short, bloody, and losing war with Britain, not unlike the Greek junta, and the right wing coup in Cyprus, which led to confrontation with Turkey. I wonder how involved the U.S. was with each of the regime changes- i.e., did the U.S. made a conscious behind the scenes decision to dump each after they came into conflict with two more important allies or client states?

  41. Marilyn Frith on said:

    Absolutely fascinating discsussion–pro and con–on the Pope Francis issue.

    The only tie I have with Argentina is from my aunt, who married a man from there and whose family was forced out by Peron. They moved to Urguay where they watched the sinking of the German pocket battleship, the Graf Spee, during WW 11. Still embers of that conflict burn 70 years later.

    The real war is between good and evil. Politics merely the catalyst that forces us to choose sides. I try to put myself into the shoes of those who are on the front lines, in the eye of the storm. Would I have that much courage to confront the enemy knowing my life was at stake? And what are my responsibilities to family and cause? I remember Viola Luizzo– who sacrificed her life in the name of civil rights for blacks in the sixties (going here from memory); she left about five children motherless when she was murdered by the KKK.

    Where do we place responsibility in the context of working for the greater good? Should she have rushed to the South and left her family? Should Pope Francis have sacrificed himself in a bid for martyrdom or quietly gone about administering to the poor and disadvantaged?

    I can’t decide. And I don’t think most people can cut it that closely to the quick of reality. But I certainly can see valid arguments for both sides of this debate. The blame should be placed squarely, however, on those who profit from these horrific deeds. Start at the top and work down. That takes time and coordination.

    Peace.