Can God Forgive Jorge Mario Bergoglio?
An Army of Youth flying the standard of truth.We are fighting for Christ the Lord.Heads lifted high, Catholic Action our cry,And the cross our only sword.On earth’s battlefield, never advantage we’ll yield,As dauntlessly on we sing,Comrades true, dare and do,‘Neath the Queen’s [Virgin Mary] White and Blue.For our flag, for our faith, for Christ the King.Christ lifts his hand, the King commands,His challenge, “Come and follow me”From every side, with eager stride,We form in the lines of victory.Let foemen lurk, and laggards shirkWe throw our fortunes with the Lord.Mary’s Son, til the world is won,We have pledged You our loyal word.
Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo hace pública la declaración del Papa electo Jorge Bergoglio, en el juicio por Plan Sistemático de Apropiación de Menores. Allí se lo citó para declarar acerca del caso de la detenida desaparecida embarazada Elena de la Cuadra, cuya familia acudió a él, en vano, en busca de ayuda. En ese entonces Bergoglio recibió al padre de Elena en dos oportunidades, derivándolo al Arzobispo de La Plata, Mario Picchi. Èste le confirmó que Elena había dado a luz a una niña a la que llamó Ana Libertad y que estaba en manos de una familia: “A la nena la cría una familia bien, lo de Elena es irreversible”, le explicó. Ana libertad continúa desaparecida.
Investigator: “When did you learn that children were being confiscated during the dictatorship?”Bergoglio: “That, um, quite recently … Ah, recently, some ten years ago.”I: “Would that be around the year 199X??” [sic]B: “Maybe sometime around the time of the Trial of the Juntas.”I: “ A bit earlier then.”B: “A bit earlier. Around that time, more or less, I started to find out about that”.I :“ We have talked at various times about documentation that could or could not be provided to the proceedings (trial/tribunal). I would like to conclude by asking that we come to an agreement on the manner in which the tribunal can gain access to this valuable documentation, as it is public knowledge and widely known [literally, notorious; it is being talked about and is widely known, almost synonymous to public knowledge] that the Church has much of the documentation. This is apparent in record of evidence given in various testimonies, including testimonies that have been heard here in this trial. So, before finishing this hearing, we need to come to an agreement and a determination of the most expeditious manner by which the tribunal can gain access to all of that valuable archival documentation. [The lawyer seems to asking permission of the President of the Tribunal to ask for these documents from Bergoglio].President: – “Just ask for it, demand it, Doctor.”I: I’m wondering if there will be an agreed upon way we can find and get to see this documentation.President: So the question is whether the gentleman testifying will agree/permit a review of the [Church] files.B: -Yes, I have no problem with that. I will instruct the custodians of the archives to do so. In fact, we have received documentation requests regarding other trials on the same topic, and we sent what we had, whatever we had.”
Buenos Aires, 2010 Bergoglio testifies before TOF No5.
disc 1 ID 4202826Jose Mario Francisco and Regina Sivori Zamora (hereafter Z)Z- What were your functions between 1974-1977?B. – I was Provincial head of Society of Jesus until 8.12.79.Z- Did you take note of the kidnapping of someone you knew and of the two nuns in the Church of Santa Cruz in December 1977?B. – Only through the media. It was a group of people who gathered together to work for human rights. They were two French nuns and an acquaintance of mine, Esther Balestrino de Careaga. (EB)Z. -Do you know whether the hierarchy ever lodged any complaints about this case?B. – No I can’t excatly point that out, but I would assume so, as those who are assigned to had been taken to report these things, as the actions had taken place in a Catholic church.Z. – Do any records exist in some archive of the Catholic Church?B. – I suppose so, but I don’t know for sure.Z. –Are those files under your control?B. – The central archive of the CEA (Conference of the Catholic Bishops) is under the control of the CEAZ. -And who supervises the CEA?B. – I do.Z. –So, could you locate it [the file]?B. – I can look for it, but not sure I can find it.Z. -In what circumstances did you know Ester Balestrino Carega (EB)?B. – She was head of the chemical analysis lab where I worked in 1953, 1954 and there was a good friendship between the two of us. She was from Paraguay.Z. -Did you try to do something when you learned of the the kidnapping?B. – It hurt me a lot trying to get in touch with a family member, but I couldn’t. They (the family) seemed to be in hiding. One of her daughters was detained and then released. I tried to contact people who could do something for her.Z- To whom are you referring?B. – To people who could make things move, human rights people.Z- Any public officials or authorities?B. – No. Because this case fell under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and I was Provincial of the Jesuits.Z-. You were at one time in close contact with Mrs. de Careaga?B. – Quite a lot. (Bastante). I took the steps that I was able to do.Z. – Could you be more specific?B. - I resorted to contacting those who could possibly find out her whereabouts. Some ODH [Organization of Human Rights] people who had access to authorities. I also talked to some Archdiocese official. With Monsignor Olmedo, who was at the court.Z. – And what did Monsignor Olmedo do?B. – He said he had tried to make contact but he had no precise information on where she was was arrested and all these things.
Z .(Tribunal Investigator) – In what year and under what circumstances did you meet and get to know Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics?B. – Yorio I first met in 1961, 1962 in the Colegio Maximo, which is the center for Jesuit Studies, where the faculties of philosophy and theology are located. Later he was a theology professor in the area of Trinitate. I met Jalics in 1961 in the same place. He was professor of fundamental theology and a spiritual advisor to students….Z. – Do you recall any problems that emerged with [Jesuit] support for Padre Yorio in 1975-1976? … any accusations of some kind within the Society of Jesus concerning Yorio and Jalics fulfilling their priestly duties?B. – Nothing in particular. At that time any priest who worked with the poorest sectors was subject to suspicions or accusations. In June 1973 I took a trip to La Rioja with the previous provincial to intervene in the case of the two Jesuits who were engaged in a mission working with the poor and they were subject to this kind of talk. ..It was very common that someone working with the poor was seen as a leftist, and that was not only at that time. Just two months ago, a layman who works in one of the slums of Buenos Aires heard a comment, “So you are working with the leftists”. It’s something that existed even before [the Coup]. Allegations of ideological leanings, of belonging to subversive organizations — for that was the term that was used at that time — by a certain sector of the population were common.Z. – All the accusations came from that sector?B. – From people who did not agree with that pastoral option (i.e., working with the poor).Z. Do any of these people have names, either first or last names?B. – No. Certain sectors, certain people. In fact when [Jesuit General Superior] Father Arrupe and I visited [the two Jesuits] in August 1974 in La Rioja, a very provincial place, many sectors of La Rioja society publicly expressed to us their discomfort with Jesuits working among the poorest.Z. – Please, try to clarify with some precision [without the generalities] the questions I am asking about Yorio and Jalics.B. – There were various sectors of the society that were adverse to certain ideologies (18.20) Some social and cultural sectors disagreed with the pastoral option which was a clear-cut choice for the Church.Z. – Please make an effort to define, name and surname, some members of the Society of Jesus, of the Catholic Church, of the Catholic hierarchy who shared this questioning of pastoral work with the poor.B. – The Army questioned everyone who shared the pastoral option.Z. – But whom exactly?B. – Various sectors, across the board. It was spoken, it was said, it was was published in the newspapers.Z. – Did you speak of it?B. – It was talked about about in communities, in the fields, in churches, in parishes. Above all, in some sectors of the Church. And also outside the Church.Z. – But you don’t remember any particular case, a Bishop or a Cardinal?B. – No, because it was something that was general, very common. Those comments were not necessarily an accusation but rather a general perception or common sense … the general view that priests who worked with the poor were lefists.Z. – That was a very dangerous perception, because it was the very same accusation used by the dictatorship to victimize people. What you are saying does not help us to locate the problem in a more concrete way. Where did these allegations come from?B. – Jalics and Yorio left the Society of Jesus before the military coup and to find a particular event that we can benchmark it might be the death of Fr. Mugica, which happened before the coup. [The execution of Father Carlos Mungica, a priest of the poor, took place in May 11, 1974 following his Saturday morning services on May 11 at the San Francisco Solano Parish. He was killed by a hit man for the AAA, Anti-Communist Alliance. He is considered a kind of Catholic martyr. --NS-H]Z. – I don’t understand. The question was whether you could specify where and from whom these accusations [against the two Jesuits] came from, which you have simply downplayed here.B. – I want to clarify the importance of the question. I did not discount the importance of these sentiments and accusatioms.They were serious, they were slanderous. Slander is a serious sin. I do not underestimate its importance. But the two men already lived in that [political] environment, and those who made that option [the option for the poor] understood what they were getting into. In that respect one was accustomed to hearing such allegations even before the military coup…Z. – Did the general of the Jesuits know that there were accusations made against this group [that included Jalics and Yorio]? Did the General [the global head of the Jesuits] share those [critical] views?[no answer]Z. – When did you stop teaching Padre Yorio ?B. – I do not remember.Z. – And therefore you don’t know why.B. – They came and went because the courses were cyclical.Z. - You had an intimate knowledge of Padre Yorio?B. – Knowledge that was normal among Jesuits. We were not friends, not enemies. But we had a good enough relationship.Z. – You have not told me why you stopped giving them classes?B. – I do not remember, but my point is that the character of the classes was cyclical.Z. Do you recall being interviewed about the character of Padre Jalics and Yorio?B. – Yes, and not just about those two, but about all the Jesuits working within that primary option for the poor. It was common to communicate about these things and to see how they were working out.Z. – In the case of Yorio and Jalics?B. – Yes, like everyone else. It was quite common.Z. – It would be important if you could specify who was asking about them, what interviews you had, and what was your reaction as Jesuit Provincial as part of the hierarchy?B. – Our relationship was good.Z. – No. I want to know about your reaction [not the relatiomship] . (27.55)B. – I always take prudent measures. It should be clarified that they only worked in the poor communities, they did not live there.They lived in the neighborhood of Rivadavia in the neighborhood, where they did their weekly spritual exercises, their managerial and other spiritual, classes, especially Padre Jalics, who was a writer. They only worked with the poor on the weekends.(Excerpts from Disk 2)Z. -Was there any understanding between the ecclesiastical authority and the military junta that before they would detrain a priest they would inform the bishop on whoever was in charge?B. – No.Z. – You never heard on anything like this?B. – NoZ. – Do you know what happened to Jalics and Yorio and a group of catechists from the barrio Rivadavia?B. – On what date?Z. -In May 1976.B. – Are you referring to the kidnapping?Z. - I can not suggest an answer to my question.B. – On about 22 or 23 May there was a raid and they were arrested. (gesticulating something with his finger).Z. – Do you know who were the people arrested, what the operation was about?B. - I know that Yorio and Jalics were detainees along with a group of lay catechists, some of whom were released, I was told, in the first days.Z. – Do you know that their licenses [to practice as clerics] were suspended?B. – I heard that it was said, but not that I was aware of it. The fact that they were doing pastoral work in the barrios would indicate that they [the government] could do that. (take away their license). It would be difficult for the pastor of a church to admit that they were woirking with, collaborating with a priest with a formally suspended license.Z. – Formally? And how else coulld it be? Only a judge has the authority to suspend a license, correct?Judge - But the judge depends on the local bishop to give the order, correct?B. – It depends on the religious order that they left. There was a period of transition. And after they are incardinated [installed officially in a parish] their license dependents on the local Bishop.Judge – And during the the transition?B. – I told them they could keep officiating at Mass until incardinaran.Judge – Can the Bishop deny the order? The authorization?B. -It’s possible. But I never was aware of such a thing.Z. – But in this case wasn’t there a benevolent bishop?B. – You mean the local bishop, the Bishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Aramburu.Z- Didn’t Aramburu make a decision regarding them.B. – Not that I am not aware.Z. – Could it have happened?B. – Without telling me?Z. – During the transition they can act like any other priest?B.- We leave the interpretation up to them.Z. – They were not in the same legal status as any other priest?B. – No, because they were in transition.Z. – What is the consequences of the suspension of a license?B. - It determines who can not exercise the ministry. The license is jurisdictional.Z. – Did you consider that now they were in grave danger given the political climate of living in a situation in which they are no longer under the protrection of the Church, that during the transition it was even diffivult for them to celebrate Mass?B. – No, they could celebrate Mass without difficulty, because I told them they could do that. As for whether they were in a situation of exposure to big risk …Yes, I think there was a greater exposure, but relatively, because they knew they had access to the provincial curia of Jesuits, with whom they could come to live, and who were in dialogue with the Church, with the provincial. …Z. – Can you help us evaluate this from the point of view of the hierarchy? What were the links between these priests who made the option for the poor … and the decision to be … be without a bishop, to leave the Church without any support?Z. – Do you know who it felt for them to be in a position of being unprotected by the Church.B. – No. I know otherwise, by the conversations they had with me. They had no feeling of helplessness.Z. – Are there any Church records about the suspension of their licensing?B. – Si, usually, but not always. It depends on the Bishop…Z. – Are there written records, archives somewhere?B. -Si.Z. – And that file is up to you now?B. – Si.Z. – How did you become aware of what happened?B. – By a phone call, at noon, a call from somebody in the barrio who I did not know. They said that there was a raid and they took the two priests as prisoners along with some lay people. Padre Dourron was riding his bike and he saw how they took them down the street of Varela.Z. – You didn’t ask any questions about it?B. – No. After a shock like that you only remember afterwards to ask questions…Presiding Judge- Do you remember what you did after hearing this news.B. -Yes, I started to move, to speak with priests who were said to have access to the police, the armed forces. We moved quickly.Judge President- Did you get any information that was different from what you were given by the anonymous neighbor?B. -I confirmed what had happened, and that no one knew where they were. Then we began to hear that the ones who took them away were members of the Navy (Marines).Z. – You don’t recall who made the call to you, or who said that they were Navy people? Did you inform the church hierarchy?B. - I informed all the members of the Socirty de Jesus and the Archbishopric. It happened on a Sunday and I alerted Cardinal Aramburu, and also to the papal nuncio,Monsignor Laghi on Monday or Tuesday, I think?Z. – How did you learn about the involvement of the Navy?B – Common talk, vox populi, they pointed to there… In fact I met twice with the Navy Commander, Massera. He was the first to hear me and he told me that he was going to look into it. I told him that these priests did not do anything unusual. He said nothing in reply. After a couple of months ppassed I requested a second interview, while continuing other steps. I was almost sure that they had them [at ESMA]. The second interview was very ugly, and it lasted no more than ten minutes. [they had a disagreement] I said, look, what ever happens maybe it is is better to talk with Monsignor Tortolo, right? Then I got up and left.Z. – Where did the the rumors that the Navy had them come from?B. -No, it was common talk, the vox populi. People with whom you spoke, said it was the Navy [ESMA].Z. – What people?B. – The people who had influence, people with connections with judges, police, military, with the Interior Ministry, with the government. Everything pointed to the Navy.Z. – Do you remember the name of any of those people who had easier access to power?B. – No.Z- Were any of them Church people, ecclesiastical superiors, like the Cardinal?B- There was only dispair of their friends, acquaintances.Z- But the fact that you heard that they were kidnapped by the Navy is very important data. If you could make a effort to remember who indicated this knowledge, that was plausible enough that you yourself believed, it to be true, so that you approcahed Massera, it would be a serious source…B- I told you that was just common talk, vox populi, vox Dei, there was not a person, there was general agreement. I do not remember who identified them as the Navy task forceZ- You don’t remember who phoned, you don’t remember who said it was the Navy.This is why we are asking you to identify at least one person.(Page 13 of 56)(Skipping down to page 17)Z- Did you seek contact with families of Jalics and Yorio to let them what had occurred, given that Yorio and Jalics were kidnapped?B- No. I know there were other Jesuits with information claiming that they were handed over to a unit of the Navy.Z- Why didn’t you seek direct contact?B- No reason, but as I was moving looking for contacts, I found that this was the best way to prioceed. Nothing was excluded.Z- Mr Bergoglio, when did you learn that the priests Jalics and Yorio had been released, and when did you meet with them?B- I contacted Padre Yorio to notify us. I said ‘Do not tell me where you are or move from where you are. Send me a person who can communicate where we can find you. Because at that point we had to take all precautions…P.18 (extract)B- The Papal Nuncio behaved well and accepted my suggestion to accompany them [Yorio and Jalics] to the police dept. With the Papal secretary, covering diplomatic relations, nothing bad cpould happen to them inside there. I met Yorio various times times to see to their future…. We decided that the the best thing for Yorio would be to to go to Rome to study canon law. In Rome I saw him several times during my travels there. After a while we fell out of contact. With Jalics iot was was faster. He was sent immediately to the United States where his mother was living.President-What did they tell you?B- They told me everything. They were hooded, shackled, that after a some time moved to another place that they thought was a house nearby ESMA, where they were convinced that they had been kept for most of the time. They were sure it was the same area because of the noise of planes taking off and landing. And there they was nearby a field of canuelas.President- Did they describe the condition of the detention?B- Yes, it was precarious and painful , and humiliating.President- The details?B- Humiliating about going to the bathroom. Nothing much said about how they were fed.Z- Physical abuse?B. They did not say anything about that . From their general account one had the impression that there was a great deal of torture in detention but I don’t recall any of the specifies of the torture.President: Beatings? Blows, electric currents to the body?B- I don’t remember them saying anything about that, they did not speak of it, they do not say that it had not happened. I do not mention them.President-Anything else?B-Insults. But those insults, were to say look at where you went, Jesus says that the poor are happy in spirit, not when they work with you.Z- Once you heard all this what steps did you take?B- In what sense?Z- Legal, public, internal Church, informing the hierarchies.B- The first step was to ensure their physical security. So I advised them not to say where they were. The second step of my concern was to get them out of the country. Of course, I told the local bishop to inform Rome by telephone. And I secure the future in Rome for Yorio in Rome, and in the Diocese of Quilmes.President. Do you reacll making any complaint to the authorities or to the court?B. – I do not remember and I think it was decided to contact them them via ecclesiastical networks, through the Archbishop, or CEA, remember if these complaints were jopined with other other complaints and presented all together.President- Any of this in written records? Can you access written records?B- Si. I can try to find them.
After we were set free, I left Argentina. It was only years later that we had the opportunity to discuss the events with Father Bergoglio who in the meantime had been appointed Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Following that, we celebrated Mass publicly together and hugged solemnly. I am reconciled with the events and on my part, consider the matter to be closed. I wish Pope Francis God’s rich blessings for his office - Father Franz Jalics SJ 15 March 2013.