Bergoglio denied he knew about snatched babies during dictatorshipSaturday, August 23, 2014
De la Cuadra family has long accused Pope Francis of failing to help
The recovery of Ana Libertad’s identity is sure to attract attention not only toward the Netherlands, where Ana Libertad has been living, but also to the Vatican, where Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis a little more than a year ago.
In his previous life as Jorge Bergoglio, the now-pontiff was the target of criticisms from the De la Cuadra family for not helping them when they appealed to the Jesuits in Europe in their search all the way back in 1977 to find Elena de la Cuadra, Ana Libertad’s mother.
At the time, she had been missing for months but the family had been told by survivors that she had been seen at a Navy concentration camp. Desperate, the family used a connection with the global head of the Jesuit order, Pedro Arrupe, to lobby for her release. He put them in touch with Bergoglio, who was also part of the order. He provided a letter of introduction to a bishop with connections to the military dictatorship.
The only answer that came back , said Estela, was that her sister’s baby was now “in the hands of a good family. It was irreversible.” Neither mother nor child were heard from again until yesterday, when news broke of the positive identification of Ana Libertad in the Netherlands.
For Estela de la Cuadra, Bergoglio did the bare minimum to keep up appearances within the Jesuit order and that it was evidence of complicity between the Catholic church and the military junta. She has also testified against Bergoglio in court, accusing him of having more knowledge about baby-snatching than he is willing to admit publicly.
The connections between the de la Cuadra family and Bergoglio also extend to Héctor Baratti, Ana Libertad’s father. He was dumped into the sea in December 1978, but before his death he would have a chilling exchange with the torturer-priest Christian von Wernich. “You accuse us of being subversives, but of what can you accuse children three or four days old?” Baratti challenged von Wernich, according to witnesses held at the 5th Precinct of the provincial capital.
“The children will pay for the sins of their parents,” responded von Wernich, convicted in 2007 for seven killings and now serving life imprisonment. He is now in charge of delivering Mass at Marcos Paz prison and Bergoglio, despite his high rank within the Argentine Catholic church at the time of his conviction, refused to defrock him.
Yesterday’s happy news, which reversed what seemed irreversible, seems poised to re-open some of the questions that were swirling around Bergoglio before and after his transformation into Pope Francis.
— Herald staff