The Vatican on Friday strongly denied accusations by some critics in Argentina that Pope Francis stayed silent during systematic human rights abuses by the former military dictatorship.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters the accusations: “Must be clearly and firmly denied.” He added that, “They reveal anti-clerical left-wing elements that are used to attack the Church”.
Critics of Jorge Bergoglio, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, allege he failed to protect priests who challenged the dictatorship earlier in his career, during the 1976-1983 “dirty war”, and that he has said too little about the complicity of the Church during military rule.
The allegations centre around a time before Bergoglio became a bishop, when he was leader of the Jesuits in Argentina. Two priests kidnapped by the military government alleged Bergoglio did not protect them.