Translation of statement from Father Franz Jalics SJ

 

McClatchy

Statement by Father Franz Jalics SJ

I lived in Buenos Aires since 1957. In 1974, moved by the inner desire to live the Gospel and enhance visibility of the abject poverty, and with the permission of Archbishop Aramburu and the then Provincial, P. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, I moved to a favela, a slum of the city, together with a fellow brother. While living there, we continued to teach at the university.

About 30,000 people, leftist guerillas as well as innocent civilians, were killed within one or two years by the military junta in the civil war-like situation of the time. The two of us in the slum had no contact to the junta or the guerillas. Due to the lack of information and targeted misinformation at that point in time our position was open to misinterpretation within the church. At this time, we lost connection to one of our lay partners when the person joined the guerilla. When he was captured and interrogated by junta soldiers nine months later, they learned that he had been in contact with us. We were then arrested in the assumption that we were also associated with the guerilla. After a five-day interrorgation, the officer who was in charge of the questioning released us with the words, "Padres, you were not guilty. I will see to it that you can return to the slum." Contrary to this statement and inexplicably to us, we were detained blindfolded and shackled for five months after that. I'm unable to comment on the role of P. Bergoglio in this matter.

After we were set free, I left Argentina. It was only years later that we had the opportunity to discuss the events with Father Bergoglio who in the meantime had been appointed Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Following that, we celebrated Mass publicly together and hugged solemnly. I am reconciled with the events and on my part, consider the matter to be closed.

I wish Pope Francis God's rich blessings for his office

Father Franz Jalics SJ 15 March 2013

Translation by C. Himmelreich

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  • Venezuelan network Telesur expands into English

    The Spanish-language television network started by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a vehicle for promoting in Latin America his leftist brand of political change will now reach audiences in English.

  •  
People release white balloons after attending a silent march of remembrance in Amsterdam, July 23, 2014. The first bodies of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 arrived in the Netherlands from Ukraine Wednesday. (AP Photo/Phil Nijhuis)

    As airliner dead are honored, Germany chides Russia for inaction

    As about 1,000 relatives of the dead from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 gathered Wednesday to meet the first bodies returned to the Netherlands, European anger at Russia’s involvement in the months-long conflict in eastern Ukraine appeared to grow and the pro-Russian separatists in the region reportedly shot down two more military jets.

  •  
Patients of Larco Herrera Psychiatric Hospital participate in their own Peruvian Independence Day parade on hospital grounds in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. The annual parade is organized ahead of Peru's official Independence Day celebrations on July 28.

    Patriotic parade at big Peru psychiatric hospital

    Patients and staff at Peru's largest psychiatric hospital put on a patriotic parade at the facility Wednesday to celebrate the 193rd anniversary of the country's independence from Spain.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category