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

  •  
Russia's President Vladimir Putin, right, greets his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014.

    South African court orders release of Zuma tapes

    South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeals has ordered the release of allegedly secretly recorded audio tapes about corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma.

  • France suggests Europe could help as Gaza monitor

    France's president called on the international community to help enforce the cease-fire in Gaza, suggesting Thursday that Europe could play a role in monitoring the dismantling of tunnels dug by Hamas militants as well as helping to secure gateways between Gaza and Egypt and Israel.

  •  
Afghan election commission workers sort ballots for an audit of the presidential run-off votes in front of international observers at an election commission office in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014.  One of two men vying to become the president of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, pulled his observers Wednesday from an audit of the country's disputed election over concerns of widespread fraud in a move that throws the already contentious election into further crisis.

    UN: Afghan election audit done around Sept. 10

    The United Nations representative for Afghanistan says an audit of the country's presidential election should be completed around Sept. 10 and that the inauguration could happen after that.

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