Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
BERLIN

Argentinian priest seeks to lay to rest questions over pope

English
© ANSA

(see related stories)
Berlin, March 15 - 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
Jorge Rafael 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.
Jalics said he was born in Hungary and moved to Argentina
in 1957.
In 1974, he and a fellow priest transferred to a slum
''with the permission of Archbishop Aramburu and the provincial
father Jorge Mario Bergoglio''.
During the military regime, the government killed roughly
30,000 people, guerrilla rebels and innocent civilians alike.
''We in the slum had no contact with the regime or the
guerillas. Either from lack of information in that era or false
information furnished on purpose, our position was misunderstood
in the church,'' Jalics continued.
''We lost contact with one of our lay collaborators, who
joined a guerilla unit. After his arrest and his interrogation
(the investigators) learned that he had collaborated with us.
For this reason, we were arrested on the supposition that we
were also involved with the guerrillas,'' the statement said.
''After a five-day interrogation, the official who
conducted the questioning dismissed us with these words,
'Father, you are not guilty and I will make an effort to return
you to the poor neighborhoods'''.
''Despite this effort, we remained in prison, for us
inexplicably, for another five months, blindfolded and with
hands tied,'' Jalics remembered.
''After our liberation, I left Argentina. Only years later
did we have the possibility of speaking about those events with
Father Bergoglio, who in the meantime was named archbishop of
Buenos Aires.
''After that meeting we celebrated together a public mass
and we embraced solemnly,'' Jalics said.

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