Vatican defends Francis against 'anti-clerical' attempt to discredit him

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VATICAN CITY — The Vatican lashed out at what it called a “defamatory” and “anti-clerical left-wing” campaign to discredit Pope Francis over his actions during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military junta, saying no credible accusation had ever stuck against the new pope.

While the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio, like most other Argentines, failed to openly confront the murderous dictatorship, human rights activists differ on how much responsibility he deserves.

The Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi noted today that a Jesuit who was kidnapped during the dictatorship in a case that involved Bergoglio had issued a statement earlier in the day saying the two had reconciled.

Lombardi also noted that Argentine courts had never accused Bergoglio of any crime and that on the contrary, there is ample evidence of the role he played protecting people from the military as it kidnapped and killed thousands of people in a “dirty war” to eliminate leftist opponents.

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