Priest says pope did not denounce him to Argentine junta


This undated handout picture released by German Jesuits organisation IHS shows Francisco Jalics, a Jesuit priest whose arrest and torture by Argentina’s military junta in the 1970s sparked criticism of Pope Francis, and who said on March 15, 2013 he had reconciled with the newly elected pontiff.

BERLIN—A Jesuit priest kidnapped and tortured during Argentina’s military dictatorship said he and a fellow abductee priest were not denounced to the rightwing junta by Pope Francis.

After the new pope came under intense scrutiny for allegedly playing a role in the arrest of Francisco Jalics and the late Orlando Yorio, Germany-based Jalics issued a statement Wednesday saying: “These are now the facts.

“Orlando Yorio and I were not reported by Father Bergoglio,” Jalics said, referring to Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis and formerly the head of the Jesuit order in Argentina.

The first pope to hail from Latin America has been criticized by leftists for his actions during Argentina’s “Dirty War,” in which 30,000 people died or disappeared from 1976 to 1983.

The two young Jesuits were taken in March 1976 to the notorious Naval School of Mechanics, a torture centre run by the military junta. They were freed after five months.

“I myself formerly tended to believe that we were reported. At the end of the ’90s, however, it became clear to me after numerous conversations that this assumption was baseless,” Jalics said.

“It is false to claim that our arrest was provoked by Father Bergoglio,” he added in the statement published on the German Jesuits’ website.

Jalics, who called himself Franz in the statement, said that after his arrest, the officer questioning him had asked for his identification papers and taken him for a Russian spy on seeing he had been born in the Hungarian capital Budapest.

The Vatican has rejected claims that Pope Francis failed to do enough to protect the two priests and says he in fact helped save lives.

Bergoglio himself has always denied any involvement in the case, and says he even intervened with the head of the junta, Jorge Videla, to beg for the Jesuits to be freed.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.


    PARA ding si Pius XII nung panahon ni Hitler, ang Marcos ng Germany.

    • ben987654321

      no comparison here. pius turned the other way when jews were being persecuted in the entire europe. bergoglio was a mere head of an order in argentina and there’s no proof he tolerated the junta then. before you open your trap think 1st

      • UrHONOR

        You DO that yourself before you open YOURS… obviously your microchips are limited to recognizing only letters and words. Don’t waste my time with your puerile and sophomoric, antiquated “peace”of sheath.

        Kung sakaling hindi mo pa alam, managalog ka na lang dahil yang ingles mo ay ingles kabaw.

      • ben987654321

        look, just bec you can;t understand simple logic doesn’t mean other people are like you. see, the problem with inane commentors like you is that you try to make comaprisons that are not there. if you can’t udnerstand english, try going back to school and not force people to write like you simply bec you’re having a hard time w/ it. there are night schools for drop-outs like you. your problem is both – making simple/common sense and understanding english – go seek help

      • UrHONOR

        MAY pa LOOK-LOOK ka pa…tagalogin mo na lang para hindi ka nagkakandahirap sa inglis mong kalabawin! COMMENTOR….walang COMMENTOR sa inlis languweyds, Dhong!

        Kung di ka ba naman isang salop at kalahating engot na nagdudununddunungan, mag-aral ka muna ng figures of speech bago ka lumantad dito at ipaglandakan yang kasalatan mo sa kaisipan. At ang tapang pa ng apog ng promding ito na magsabi ng “if you can’t udnerstand english”, e pati sa ispeling kinakapos ka “genuis” of a moron.

        ITO parang tulong ko na sa salat sa kaalaman: Comparisons can and are made of anything that have characters that are in common. But if your comprehension of the idea of the literary device is highly limited as can be egregiously gleaned from your, again, sophomoric ability to process thoughts, YOU be a good boy and GO SEEK HELP YOURSELF from wherever you got your rudiments in education and ASK for a FULL REFUND.

        AGAIN, Don’t waste my time anymore with your puerile, sophomoric, and antiquated “peace”of sheath. And if you still can’t get it, GO FLY a KITE or buck a duck, your preference.

      • ben987654321

        if a simple word like “look” intimidates a moron like you, then really, arguing in the english language – apart from your apparent lack of common sense – are your hangups , no? spelling? ugok, typo yon, obvious that you can;t even differentiate real spelling deficiency verys a typo. and also, for a retrad like you to google and english quote, and using hifallutin words, like puerile (hey google yan no?) just to appear learned – you really need help. go abck to school. obvious nag-research ak muna before you replied. jsut basing it on your alnguage, mukang yoiu spend a lot of your time in the streets and jsut pay P30 per hour sa internet. obvious di ka employed. lastly, an idiot like you declartes not to “waste your time” – so why reply to my posts if i am? aptawa ka, trying to sound sophisticated. why don;t you hide back udner the rock where you came from?

  • Constantine

    The dictator himself or his close aides should be asked if Pope Francis sided with them during the dictatorship. This will be more or less a stronger denial or confirmation of the allegation.

    • ben987654321

      you mean they should call a spiritualist or use an ouigi board to conjure the spirit of epron to testify in the pope’s behalf? patawa ka naman pare. that’s almost 40 years ago. eh yung mastermind ng assasiantion ni ninoy di natin malaman yung pang kung sino nagsumbung ng torture ng isang simpelng pari (at that time). why can’t you accept this priest’s testimony? as usual another mental diarrhea from you

  • Dan Carlo Rieta

    No matter how much you try to help others; there are times when people would discredit you for either doing nothing or not doing enough. Many fail to see the median or the mean of what good a person has done. Reality of human nature.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos