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Mon Mar 18, 2013, 12:35 PM

How I made the chilling discovery that exposed 'Pope of Dictatorship' From Horacio Verbitsky

I began my investigation into Jorge Mario Bergoglio a few months after he was named Archbishop of Buenos Aires. When he was appointed in February 1998, his image was that of a humble priest. In a suit that was as worn as his shoes, he was said to spend the night sitting by the bedsides of the sick.
But I had also begun to hear more troubling accounts, from human rights activists who accused him of complicity with the junta that kidnapped, tortured and murdered 30,000 dissidents during the ‘Dirty War’.
The first accusations were made by Emilio Mignone, a former deputy education minister, who claimed that the Pope of the Dictatorship – as I now regard him – was linked to the disappearance of his daughter, Mónica. A Catholic teacher, she did social work in the slums of Buenos Aires, near the neighbourhood where Father Bergoglio grew up.
She was kidnapped in May 1976 and has never been seen again.
According to Mignone, two Left-wing priests who worked with the poor were also abducted the same week. Fathers Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics were Jesuits, whose order was run by Father Bergoglio, one of the youngest leaders in the Argentine Catholic Church’s history.
They were snatched by troops and taken to the same dreaded Navy concentration camp as Mónica, the Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA), where they were tortured.
A photo of the Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA),

Mignone claimed that Father Bergoglio collaborated with the junta’s commanders in chief – Jorge Videla and Emilio Massera – in their kidnap. The generals were committed, he said, to ‘fulfilling the dirty task of cleaning the courtyard of the Church’ from Left-wing influence, adding: ‘Sometimes the green light was given by the bishops themselves.’
In 1999, I reported on this controversy in an article in the Buenos Aires daily Pagina 12 in which I sympathised with our new Archbishop and cast doubt on the charges against him. One of my best friends, a human rights lawyer, had told me that Father Bergoglio warned the priests of the risk they were running before they were kidnapped. Moreover, after Father Bergoglio learned that they were being held at ESMA, he confronted Admiral Massera, according to my friend, and demanded their freedom.
Five months after their abduction, they were finally drugged, put on a helicopter and dumped in a field on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

Shortly after my article was published, I was contacted by both Father Yorio and an intermediary for the Archbishop. Father Yorio was upset. He denied Bergoglio had warned him and Jalics that they were in danger.
‘I do not have any reason to think he did anything for our release, but much to the contrary,’ he said.
Bergoglio had expelled him from his theology post at a Jesuit school, he said, and spread rumours ‘that I was a Communist, a subversive guerrilla who was after women – rumours that immediately came to the attention of the social sectors that ran the power and repression machinery’.
In an era when the junta was trying to ‘cleanse’ the nation of liberation theology, this was tantamount to a death sentence.
‘Francisco Jalics warned several Jesuits in writing of the danger I was being exposed to by the Company [of Jesus], highlighting Bergoglio as responsible,’ Father Yorio said.
From the Bavarian monastery where he took refuge after being freed, Father Jalics also talked to me, on condition that I did not identify him as a source. He told me that Father Bergoglio identified him and Yorio as Leftist guerrillas.


He said he never accused Yorio or Jalics of conspiring with the guerrillas, and after he learned that the priests were being held at ESMA, he met twice with Videla and Massera to demand their release. He depicted himself as a hero. I gave his side of the story in my second piece and for a time we had a friendly relationship. He sent me pieces of information, including a reference to a court record that showed that the house where 60 kidnapped political prisoners were hidden from human rights investigators in 1979 was the weekend home of the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
His story began to unravel when I began my research for a sequel to a book I had published in 1995, The Flight: Confessions Of An Argentine Dirty Warrior, in which a former Navy officer, Captain Adolfo Scilingo, told how dissidents were killed by being thrown into the sea when still alive. Scilingo said this method had been approved by the Church hierarchy because they considered it a Christian form of death.

In 2000, a year after Yorio’s death, his family gave me a 27-page letter in which he accused Bergoglio of collaborating with his kidnappers.
On March 29, 2005, I was at the foreign affairs ministry archives, going through box after box of records. One document contained the final proof that Bergoglio collaborated in surrendering the priests to the regime. It began with a note bearing the letterhead of the Society of Jesus, with the stamp and the signature of Father Bergoglio, dated December 4, 1979.

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Reply How I made the chilling discovery that exposed 'Pope of Dictatorship' From Horacio Verbitsky (Original post)
moobu2 Mar 2013 OP
msongs Mar 2013 #1
cbayer Mar 2013 #5
pinto Mar 2013 #2
ucrdem Mar 2013 #3
Catherina Mar 2013 #6
ucrdem Mar 2013 #7
Catherina Mar 2013 #4
No Vested Interest Mar 2013 #8
Catherina Mar 2013 #9

Response to moobu2 (Original post)

Mon Mar 18, 2013, 01:15 PM

1. the infallible pope will not like you posting this stuff nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 11:09 AM

5. I don't think he'll mind as it all appears to be rubbish.

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Response to moobu2 (Original post)

Mon Mar 18, 2013, 01:53 PM

2. What a bunch of conflated, flimsy crap cited here.

The Argentine dictatorship, the Dirty War, the role of the Church in Argentina at the time, the work of Catholic clergy and lay workers in the slums of Buenos Aries, the risks inherent with opposition to the regime or active support for the poor, the role of the military enforcers, reported attempts to negotiate, etc. - are all worth a second and third look.

Yet this cobbled together piece does none of that. It's so clearly agenda driven. I wouldn't include the words Daily Mail and journalism in the same sentence, fwiw.

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Response to pinto (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 01:24 AM

3. It does seem agenda driven.

Last edited Wed Mar 20, 2013, 12:17 PM - Edit history (1)

Verbitsky seems to be Bergoglio's calumniator-in-chief, and an energetic one, with no lack of custom for his rather dubious product. And from a first glance at his English wiki page, this oddly named character seems legitimate enough, with modest lists of real-sounding awards and publications and a picture of himself with current Argentine president Christina Fernández de Kirchner, wife of deceased former president Néstor Kirchner:

link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horacio_Verbitsky

The text tells us that Verbitsky is close to the Kirchners and has been accused of ignoring scandal on them that would otherwise be his cup of tea, which he admits to. Oh well, it's nice to have powerful friends, so why annoy them. The wiki page also lists his connection to a US-funded human rights NGO known as CELS, of which he is apparently president.

But several items in his story don't add up, starting with the odd timing of his Bergoglio tales, which surfaced with the 2005 publication of his El Silencio de Paulo VI a Bergoglio, a straightforward hit piece timed to knock Bergoglio out of the running to succeed John Paul 2, for which he's said to have come in second place after Joseph Ratzinger.

And an thing odd about this Daily Mail story, apart from his eagerness to get it published when the evidence it contains is so flimsy, is his story of having "discovered" this evidence of Bergoglio's perfidy while doing routine research in an archive, whereupon his feelings suddenly changed and voila, he became chief supplier of anti-Bergoglio dirt to US and British media eager to splash it around the world with no due diligence whatsoever.

Now what Verbitsky claims to have discovered, but in all likelihood was handed, is a carefully packaged document of three pages: first, Bergoglio's request for Jalic's passport extension sans return to Argentina, followed by a second page outlining objections to this request, imputed to Bergoglio but not written by him, shown below:

The third page is apparently the official stamped rejection. Only the second page, written by a government official, appears in the Daily Mail. This is a very flimsy reed to hang such a profound conversion as Verbitsky claims to have experienced, so profound that he makes himself the nemesis of a former friend, hounding him professionally and spreading damning rumors internationally. Other tales are also dubious, including his 1999 interview with Yorio (the other kidnapped priest) wherein Yorio allegedly claims Bergoglio collaborated with the junta to have himself and Jalic arrested, a claim vociferously denied by many, including Bergoglio, and confirmed by none. This crucial interview remained unpublished until six years later, when Yorio was long dead, and it was unverifiable.

So is Verbitsky just a crusading journalist? Well, maybe. But here's how his celebrated career began, via his wiki page:

During the 1970s he was a member of Montoneros, a peronist guerrilla organization that was engaged in terrorist activities in Argentina. According to him, he participated in shootings, during which "luckily" nobody died. . . . he was indicted for allegedly being involved in the planning and execution of the bombing of the Superintendence of Security of the Federal Police, on July 2, 1976 — a few months after the military coup — which caused 21 deaths among intelligence officers. The case was however closed in 2007 because of statute of limitations.

I'm not sure exactly what to make of this claim of having murdered 21 intel officers, but it seems that with that kind of accomplishment heading up his CV, there might be more going on here than we know.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 11:18 AM

6. Most excellent post!

I have nothing to add except a big thank you and a small note about Verbitzky and those 21 dead intel officers.

Verbitzky maintains that he fired weapons when he was with the Marxist guerillas but that his bullets, in total contradiction to laws that govern bullets, never killed anyone. Some comrade lol.

On the other hand, there are grumblings from his former Marxist comrades, and chief, that he was directly responsible for the deaths of other guerillas.

I think it's time to put Verbitzky under the microscope so the Left doesn't look foolish swallowing, repeating and relying on any old lies thrown out there.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 12:20 PM

7. Thank you!

And thanks for the additional info on Verbitsky, which is revealing. Also for pointing out that typo I just fixed!

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Response to moobu2 (Original post)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 11:06 AM

4. Photos 2,3,4 are not Cardinal Bergoglio/Pope Francis

Verbitzky can't even get the right priest in the cover picture he used for his book, and people want to swallow the rest of his *fact-checking*.

This guy is worse than Geraldo Rivera and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones together.

Top Human Rights officials in Argentina dismiss collaborator claims about Pope Francis as slander

Bottom line:

Where does this story come from? One man, Horacio Verbitzky, an advocacy journalist and leftist militant, who repeats the same discredited accusations any time the former Cardinal Bergoglio makes the news.

When he did so prior to the last papal conclave in 2005, John Allen, CNN's papal analyst, debunked it with one phone call to the Argentine headquarters of Amnesty International, which denounced the allegations as baseless.


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Response to moobu2 (Original post)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 12:33 PM

8. What is the ethical responsibility

of those who post OPs containing "information" proven to be erroneous to retract their posting?

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 12:46 PM

9. I wish DU had a stricter policy about this

I also wish posters had the ethical integrity to do so once the correct information is out because it happens way too often and you can't chase all the threads down to re-refute the falsehoods.

I also wish trash tabloid fodder would be forbidden here.

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