Dirty War Pope

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Rumor: As provincial of the Jesuit Order and a powerful cleric during the "Dirty War" period in Argentina, Bergoglio (Pope Francis I) cooperated with the military dictatorship and the CIA to "disappear" dissenters, to eliminate Communists, and to destroy the inroads made by Liberation theology priests implementing gospel principles of social justice and equality.

Portal: Politics
Cardinal Bergoglio with the Argentine dictator, General Jorge Videla
General Information
Origin Buenos Aires
Source In 2005, human rights lawyer Myriam Bregman filed a criminal suit against Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio
Start Date 2005
End Date ongoing
Status unverified
Narrative Elements
Location Argentina
Action complicity in the torture and murder of civilians
Hero Opponents of the dictatorship supported by the CIA and Kissenger
Villain Cardinal Bergoglio/Pope Francis I/Jorge Videla/CIA/Kissenger
Victim the Argentine population

As Jesuit provincial head of the Jesuit Order in Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, colluded with the military junta under General Jorge Videla in the Dirty War (1976 to 1983) to eliminate leftist opponents of the dictatorship, which had the full support of the Argentine Catholic hierarchy. Now as Pope Francis I, he refutes the "defamation campaign" to expose his reputed dealings with Videla. In this negatory rumor, Bergogli handed over to the authorities two Jesuit priests who endured torture in 1976 because they engaged in grass-roots movements to oppose the dictatorship. Under Videla and with the approval of Bergoglio, the junta "silenced" over 30,000 souls.


Story Form

The hero of the "Dirty War Pope" is the grass-roots opposition and followers of Liberal theology. The Argentine ruling class, which was spearheaded by the military dictatorship, is the primary villain, but also implicated in this nefarious regime of terror is the Argentine church. The heroes are the parish priests who fought the dictatorship and who endured torture and ultimately were killed, and these heroes include the Jesuits that Bergoglio fired. Other heroes killed by the government include Communists and radicals who fought to restore democracy and struggled against the CIA "Operation Condor" military coup of March 24, 1976, which overthrew the government of Isabel Peron. The villains include members of the church hierarchy, with Bergoglio as the Provincial of the Jesuit Order, and the military under General Videla, who received covert support by Washington, under the leadership of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The cast of enemies of the "Dirty War" thus includes U.S. policy, for as Kissinger’s top deputy on Latin America, William Rogers, told him two days after the coup: “we’ve got to expect a fair amount of repression, probably a good deal of blood, in Argentina before too long” (National Security Archive, March 23, 2006).[1] The heroes have taken their claims to the Argentine court, as the trial opened up in Buenos Aires on March 5, 2013--just a week prior to Bergoglio’s investiture. Though there seems to be no direct evidence to criminalize Bergoglio, the rumor addresses his complicity with the military junta as he did nothing to prevent the mass killings and the long campaign of intimidation, torture, and disappearances. Federico Finchelstein, an Argentine historian at the New School for Social Research in New York, notes that “Those like Francis that remained in silence during the repression also played by default a central role...It was this combination of endorsement and either strategic or willful indifference that created the proper conditions for the state killings.”[2]

Narrative Landscape

In 2005, human rights lawyer Myriam Bregman filed a criminal suit against Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who during the Dirty War period was provincial of the Jesuit Order and had the leverage to oppose dictatorial oppression and persecution. Bregman claims that Bergoglio orderd two Jesuit priests "to leave their pastoral work" and allowed Videla death squads to kidnap them in May 1976. The Jesuits were ultimately destroyed and silenced. They, along with countless other dissenters and labor activists, were sent to the Navy School of Mechanics, the notorious ESMA (See Bill van Auken, “The Dirty War” Pope, World Socialist Website and Global Research, March 14, 2013). These two were the lucky ones, as they were released five months. As a major ecclesiastic with connections to the junta, Bergoglio did not prevent further persecution and disappearances, as at least six other parish "radicals" were “disappeared.” One of the Jesuit priests, Orlando Yorio, knew that Bergoglio was behind the betrayal, claiming that “I am sure that he himself gave over the list with our names to the Navy.” In the course of the trial initiated in 2005, Bergoglio twice invoked his right to refuse to appear in court, denying that he participated in the junta's disappearance agenda. Yet a secret memo of the junta reveals how Bergoglio connected the activities of the two Jesuits with the radicals and failed to be obedient.[3]

Known Facts



  1. http://www.globalresearch.ca/washingtons-pope-who-is-francis-i-cardinal-jorge-mario-bergoglio-and-argentinas-dirty-war/5326675
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/world/americas/francis-begins-reign-as-pope-amid-echoes-of-argentinas-dirty-war.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  3. http://www.globalresearch.ca/washingtons-pope-who-is-francis-i-cardinal-jorge-mario-bergoglio-and-argentinas-dirty-war/5326675

Further Reading

External Links

Facts about Dirty War PopeRDF feed
Actioncomplicity in the torture and murder of civilians +
HeroOpponents of the dictatorship supported by the CIA and Kissenger +
ImageNameBergoglio&Videla-400x386.jpg +
LocationArgentina +
OriginBuenos Aires +
SourceIn 2005, human rights lawyer Myriam Bregman filed a criminal suit against Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio +
Statusunverified +
TitleDirty War Pope +
Victimthe Argentine population +
VillainCardinal Bergoglio/Pope Francis I/Jorge Videla/CIA/Kissenger +
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