Bergoglio’s List: how Francis saved Argentine dissidents

Bergoglio before papacy

No sooner had Cardinal Bergoglio been elected Pope than blogs and newspapers started firing accusations at him. On the very evening of Francis’ election, Nello Scavo, a journalist for Italian Catholic daily Avvenire, started looking into the stories circulating on the web about the Pope having allegedly complicit with the Argentinian dictatorship. The result is not what he expected. La lista di Bergoglio (Bergoglio's List) written by Scavo and currently only out in Italian, reveals the never-told-before stories of men and women who were secretly helped by the Pope during Argentina’s dictatorship years.

- Vatican Insider

Many of Bergoglio’s friends couldn’t make any sense out of it: 'Why doesn’t he respond? Why doesn’t he tell everyone the truth so all these lies can stop?' Fr José Maria 'Pepe' di Paola kept on asking. Fr Pepe coordinates priests in the villas miserias, Buenos Aires’ slums. The priest was referring to the slanderous comments a left-wing journalist had been making against Bergoglio for years, to the immense joy of ultra-right wing movements.

The journalist accused him of collaborating with the military dictatorship and facilitating the arrest of two fellow Jesuits Francisco Jalics and Orlando Yorio, who were in turn accused of being subversive 'communists.'

No sooner had Bergoglio been elected Pope on March 13 than blogs and newspapers started firing accusations at him, in a hungry attempt to find embarrassing material on Peter’s successor. Nello Scavo was one of them, and started looking into the stories circulating on the web about the Pope having allegedly complicit with the Argentinian dictatorship.

Scavo had no premeditated theories to prove and no hagiographical intentions. As a journalist who focused on legal  and judicial issues, he knew that if he could prove the accusations against the newly elected Pope were true, he would be in for a huge scoop. He also knew that an honest reconstruction of the facts leaves no room for censorship and prejudices.

It was on that special evening that Scavo began the long investigation described in his book La Lista di Bergoglio salvati da Francesco durante la dittatura (Bergoglio's List: Those Saved by Pope Francis; Stories Never Told), published in Italian only by missionary publishing house Emi. The book, written in the style of an interview, is out in bookstores tomorrow.

The fast-paced text includes an appendix with a transcript of the 2010 testimony Bergoglio gave during a nearly four-hour court interrogation on the crimes committed in the Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA) the Navy School of Mechanics that operated during Argentina’s military dictatorship.

FULL STORY Bergoglio's List: How Francis saved Argentine dissidents

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