December 13, 2013
Pope Francis meets dictatorship-kidnapped priest Jalics
Pope Francis met with priest Franz Jalics in the Vatican today. The 86-year old Jesuit was kidnapped and tortured by Argentina’s military during the bloody dictatorship that ruled the country between 1976 and 1983. The encounter comes after some sectors here connected the pontiff with the de facto government and, specially, with Jalics’ case.
Argentine journalist Horacio Verbitsky has been long denouncing the role played by the Catholic leadership during the dark years of the dictatorship, alleging that the then head of the Jesuit order in Buenos Aires and now pontiff Jorge Mario Bergoglio had provided the security forces with information about Franz Jalics leading to his kidnapping. Bergoglio has been also targeted for the abduction of priest Orlando Yorio who was kidnapped together with Jalics in 1976.
Despite the accusations, the Hungarian native who now lives in Germany said Pope Francis was not to be linked with the 1976 case. Quoted by Jesuiten.org, Jalics said he believed for some time that he had been a victim of a denounce that resulted in his kidnap but that he then ruled out such theory.
In his statements, Jalics insisted he felt “obliged” to amend the comments against the Pope because “neither he nor Yorio had been accused by father Bergoglio.” “I have reconcilied with Bergoglio serving mass together,” he added.
In 1976, Franz Jalics and Orlando Yorio were kidnapped by the secturity forces and put down to interrogation during 5 days remaining blinded up and handcuffed for five months.