Bergoglio’s hidden heroism

Jorge Mario Bergoglio once risked his life to save two Jesuit priests from execution by the Argentine junta—and then, in his humility, refused to advertise his heroism. Leftist media took advantage of the future Pope Francis’s silence by smearing him with accusations of collaboration, writes Buenos Aires journalist Carlos Caso-Rosendi:

[He] is a man’s man in the old way of Argentines of happier times, before vice and corruption came to us disguised as a promise that government was going to take care of us all as long as we worshiped the golden calf. To be a man in this periphery of the world can take someone to unexpected places. When leading the Argentine Jesuits, Monsignor Bergoglio found himself in front of Jorge Rafael Videla pleading for the life of two fellow Jesuits with leftist political leanings. That may seem merely a kind gesture to you but it was more than that. Bergoglio risked his life and went between the jaws of the lion to retrieve these two men whom he himself had severely disciplined shortly before they “disappeared” into the regime’s dungeons.

That act remained hidden from view for a few decades. He was even accused by some in the leftist media of aiding the actions of the dictatorship, and only after being forced to declare before a tribunal did his intervention on behalf of the two Jesuits become public knowledge. No one has heard an apology from his accusers yet, but such is the fate of the saints.

Read Caso-Rosendi’s full article, “Francis: Soldier and Pastor.”

Update: Reader Rose Zuffi comments:

I can confirm what Caso-Rosendi is stating, for at that time I happened to be living in Argentina, actually I witnessed all the Dirty war for I lived there all through the seventies and eighties. At that time I taught ESL and had a student ,a Jesuit Priest by the name of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

As a witness to what really happened in those days and knowing the today Franciscus I , I can asure that what has been said of his Holiness heroic acts are true and many more that are not yet posted will surface.

The Argentine Left or better yet, the secular Argentines will do anything to destroy The Holy Father’s image. “The devil is out” as he admonished to the Cardinals in his audience, yes evil is right at our feet.

So, let us be vigilant in prayer and love so we can accompany our very holy Pastor in leading our church into glorious times.”

  • Rose Zuffi

    I can confirm what Caso-Rosendi is stating, for at that time I happened to be living in Argentina, actually I witnessed all the Dirty war for I lived there all through the seventies and eighties. At that time I taught ESL and had a student ,a Jesuit Priest by the name of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

    As a witness to what really happened in those days and knowing the today Franciscus I , I can asure that what has been said of his Holiness heroic acts are true and many more that are not yet posted will surface.

    The Argentine left or better yet, the secular argentines will do anything to destroy The Holy Father’s image. “The devil is out” as he admonished to the Cardinals in his audience, yes evil is right at our feet .

    So, Let us be vigilant in prayer and love so we can accompany our very holy Pastor in leading our church into glorious times.

    • bill bannon

      Rose,
      I like the new Pope but reports on this matter I read on net do not imply that he was ever in danger even in visiting the dictator which our Pope arranged by having the customary attendant priest to Videla call in sick which allowed Bergoglio to access Videla as he went as the substitute that day. Jesuits who continued to work in the base communities alone were in danger. The institutional Church backed the junta and Bergoglio as part of that institutional Church wanted the base community priests to obey his order to stop. But though opposing the young priests, Bergoglio did not want them tortured over this. Where am I missing
      a piece? I think Bergoglio was heroic in other incidents rather than the Videla meeting. He risked their wrath for example when he gave his ID papers to a similar built man so that the man could exit Argentina. I just don’t want us to do this pattern of countering accusations with non truths of an opposite content.

  • Clare Krishan

    Yes, I read today online (I speak German fluently after spending 13 yrs of my career there) that Fr. Jalics has made a public statement (in German) in support of our Holy Father
    http://www.br.de/nachrichten/oberfranken/franz-jalics-wilhelmsthal-100.html
    I updated his Wikipedia page with the info this afternoon so that English speakers can learn more (they share the same name, think about that: Francis is the torture victim’s Christian name in English)

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