Skip to comments.Argentine Cardinal Accused in Kidnappings~~"Old Slander" is his response.
Posted on 04/16/2005 9:26:47 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Just days before Roman Catholic cardinals select a new pope, a human rights lawyer filed a criminal complaint against an Argentine mentioned as a possible contender, accusing him of involvement in the 1976 kidnappings of two priests.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio's spokesman on Saturday called the allegation "old slander."
The complaint filed in a Buenos Aires court Friday by human rights lawyer Marcelo Parrilli accused Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, of involvement in the kidnappings of two Jesuit priests by the military dictatorship, according to the Buenos Aires newspaper Clarin. The complaint does not specify Bergoglio's alleged involvement.
The priests were released after five months.
"This is old slander," the Rev. Guillermo Marco, Bergoglio's spokesman, told The Associated Press in Rome. "This is the week of slander."
Under Argentine law, an accusation can be filed with a very low threshold of evidence. The court later decides whether there is cause to investigate and file charges.
The Italian newspaper Corriere dell Sera called the accusations "an infamy fueled by Bergoglio's enemies," saying Saturday that far from participating in the kidnappings, the cardinal helped win the priests' freedom. It did not detail its sources.
The accusations against Bergoglio, 68, in the kidnappings of priests Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics are not new, being detailed in a recently published book by Argentine journalist Horacio Verbitsky.
Marco called Verbitsky "a gentleman of dubious fame who is advertising himself to sell a book," saying the journalist was "taking advantage of this moment."
"A lawsuit does not mean there will be a trial," he added.
Marco said the book was baseless.
"There is no proof," he said. "There is never anyone quoted by name. Of the two (priests), one is dead and Father Jalics was at the Jubilee in 2000 together with the cardinal, with whom he has good relations. There are photos of them together."
Verbitsky could not be reached for comment.
In May 1976, during Argentina's brutal military dictatorship, Yorio and Jalics were kidnapped by a team from the Argentine navy. They surfaced five months later, drugged and seminude, in a field outside Buenos Aires.
At the time, Bergoglio was the superior in the Company of Jesus of Argentina, and some priests were toying with the idea of taking up arms against the dictatorship. According to some associates, the two priests were in disagreement with the company because of their activism.
Bergoglio asked them to leave their pastoral work in some of Argentina's poorest neighborhoods until the political situation changed, and when the priests said no, Bergoglio removed them from the order.
But according to some accounts, Bergoglio was instrumental in winning freedom for the men by pressuring the head of the navy, Emilio Massera.
Bergoglio was removed as the order's superior in 1979. He kept a low profile until 1992, when he was designated auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires and began a climb through the ecclesiastic hierarchy in South America's second-largest country.
An advocate for the poor, he has championed social programs and won public respect for questioning free-market policies he blames for leaving millions of Argentines impoverished. Nonetheless, his conservative leanings on doctrinal and spiritual issues are widely seen as in keeping with the legacy of Pope John Paul II.
Marco refused to discuss the possible impact of the lawsuit on Bergoglio's chances of becoming pope. Cardinals usually take great pains not to appear to be promoting themselves for the church's highest office.
"No candidacy will fall apart, because we never thought of that possibility," he said. "We're very calm."
If chosen, Bergoglio would become the first Jesuit pontiff.
Associated Press reporter Kevin Gray in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributed to this story.
....although this guy doesn't sound like the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, 66, a Jesuit, is a soft-spoken intellectual, has a conservative outlook on doctrinal and spiritual matters of the church. He is a man of true theological and philosophical depth. During the economic and political crisis in 2001, he became Argentinas moral point of reference. If he becomes the next pope, he would strike the world with his simplicity and humility.
When Roman Catholic Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the subway to work, few of his fellow commuters realize they are sharing the train with the archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 68, of Argentina is a tireless fighter for the poor and an outspoken critic of corruption and human rights abuses.
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Looks as if the MSM doesn't want him to be Pope. The Cardinals don't have access to mass media, papers, tv, during this time, so the MSM can rail all they like against one candidate or another with no effect on the voting. But they'll have plenty of mud to throw at the new Pope, whoever he is.
He's my bet for election as the next Bishop of Rome. The Conservative coalition will turn to him as the compromise candidiate once they realize that the election of Ratzinger, though able to garner 40-50 votes, simply will never reach the required 77. Bergoglio will also be eagerly acceptable by the "social justice" block of cardinals. But the one mark against him--that he is a Jesuit--is strong, and that's a tough one to get past. Are the cardinals ready to elect a Jesuit as Pope? Hard to say. The Progressive wing, in any case, was willing to vote for a Jesuit (Martini) for a very long time, until his age and weak health dampened enthusiasm for him. What do you (and others on the thread) think?
Two alternatives in favor with the Ratzinger camp could be:
CAMILLO RUINI. Vicar of the diocese of Rome and president of the Italian bishops conference, 74 years old. Unlike Ratzinger, to whom he is very close intellectually, he excels for his ability to command. In the autumn of 2003 he was the one who filled the gap left in regard to Iraq and the Middle East by a confused and uncertain Vatican secretariat of state: the turning point was his homily for the Italian soldiers killed in Nassiriya. As head of the Italian bishops conference, he gave the Church unprecedented public prominence in Italy. He has rarely appeared in the current lists of candidates for the papacy.
ANGELO SCOLA. Patriarch of Venice, 64 years old. He is the youngest and least experienced of the papal candidates in the party of Ratzinger and Ruini. He was the star pupil of Fr. Luigi Giussani, founder of Communion and Liberation, and one of the model students of Hans Urs von Balthasar, a theological giant of the second half of the twentieth century, together with two of the other most recently appointed cardinals, Philippe Barbarin of France and Marc Ouellet of French Canada. He has created an institute of higher study in Venice, the Marcianum, and founded a magazine published in multiple languages, including Arabic and Urdu, Oasis, as a bridge to the East and in order to favor, not a clash, but a hybrid of civilizations.
Don't discount Cardinal Dias of Bombay. He is reported to speak 18 languages and must deal with a climate hostile to Christianity. I believe Scola will get the nod. His magazine is having an incredible "buzz" as it is making its way along the old trade route from the Middle East to the Orient. It is a stroke of genius for evangelization.
Yes, Scola was my thought as the favorite until recently. But I'm no longer so sure of him, largely because of his age (62, a tad young, maybe??) and because I do not see in his interviews (I've read 5 or 6, in various languages) a strong sense of holiness and simplicity of life. But, again, I wouldn't be surprised at all if he were elected.
... and they are all olive.
Which is why Pope Boniface (Ratzinger) or Pope Augustine (Arinze) would be a sign of direct Divine Providence to these old eyes.
Wouldn't it be wonderful!
God is good.
A simple majority (58?)is the fall back if they cannot get a 2/3rds vote.
Thank you"Ernest_at_the_Beach"Thank you"NYer"thank you all Good G-D do know this person only Good G-D do will help be strong remember good friend Good G-D do know time life love Thank you all
Well, a simple majority is possible, if they cannot decide after 33 or 34 ballots. That's a lot of ballots. My strong suspicion is that the cardinals feel a very strong responsibility to select someone by the end of this Thursday, because that would mark the end of the first series of balloting before a day of reflection.
Thanks for the link!