The Pope is Catholic

As soon as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, the papal slander machinery revved up and tried to tie him to the Argentine regime and its actions during the “Dirty War.” [1] A specific allegation that has received a lot of attention is that he enabled the 1976 kidnapping and imprisonment of two Jesuit priests during that time.

That claim found expression in a criminal complaint filed by a human rights lawyer in 2005. [2] The complaint didn’t allege any specifics, and was ultimately dismissed. [3] One of the priests, Father Orlando Yorio, in a 1999 interview, accused the future pontiff of causing the arrest by lifting his protection on the two men as punishment for their political views. [4] At the time Father Bergoglio was the Superior of the Society of Jesus in Argentina.

As it turns out, Father Bergoglio was concerned about the safety of the two priests, and for that reason wanted to pull them out of their ministry [5], which might be what led Father Yorio to conclude what he did. It is now known, however, that Father Yorio and the other priest, Father Franz Jalics, were arrested on information given under torture by a lay member of the rebellion against the regime. This has been confirmed by Father Jalics. [6] 

In Pope Francis we do not have a Pope with a history of collaboration with a dictatorial and oppressive regime. We do have a Pope who has said that the unjust distribution of goods creates “a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers,” [7] and that “unjust economic structures that give rise to great inequalities” are violations of human rights. [8]

Of course, it is not surprising that Pope Francis would believe these things. He is, after all, an orthodox Catholic, and, as such, would believe in the entirety of Catholic social teaching.

Jack Quirk