Catholic bishops deny role in Argentine junta

Nov 10, 2012, 12:14 AM

Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Roman Catholic bishops on Friday denied claims by a former dictator that the church was complicit in crimes committed by Argentina’s 1976-1983 military regime.

The bishops said they were open to a profound review of the church’s role during those years, which human rights groups say resulted in the killing of up to 30,000 people by the junta.

“We’re committed to promoting a thorough study of these events in the search for truth, with the certainty that it will set us free,” the bishops said in a statement. “That’s why we’re committed to review everything within our reach.”

As they did 12 years ago, the bishops asked for forgiveness for the behavior of some members of the church during the brutal dictatorship.

Former dictator Jorge Videla said earlier this year that those who ran the church at the time were accomplices to criminal acts carried out in a government-sponsored crackdown on leftist dissidents during Argentina’s “dirty war.”

Videla is serving a life sentence for kidnapping, torture and murder.

He was also convicted and sentenced to 50 years earlier this year for a systematic program to steal babies from mothers who were held in torture centers. The babies were turned over to military families or to allies of the regime and illegally registered as their children.

The activist group Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo says some 500 children were born while their mothers were in captivity.

The bishops urged anyone with information on the “disappeared” or on the stolen children to contact the authorities.

“We know there are deep open wounds among many families after the kidnapping, seizing, or the disappearance of a loved one,” the bishops’ statement said. “We share everyone’s pain and once again ask the forgiveness of everyone we failed or didn’t support as we should have.”

While denying the church was complicit in the dictatorship’s crimes, the bishops said they did not know “in-depth” how much their predecessors “personally knew about what was really going on” at the time.

Argentina’s Catholic Church apologized in 2000 for mistakes made during the dictatorship.

In a statement then, the church said: “We ask forgiveness for our responsibility in being silent and the participation of your children in … the violation of liberties, torture and betrayal, in political persecution and ideological intransigence.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

A fisherman watches smoke rise after Russian forces launched a missile attack on a military unit in...
Associated Press

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters hit by drone strike

An explosive device carried by a makeshift drone blew up Sunday at the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean Peninsula.
13 days ago
Medical syringes are seen with 'Monkeypox' sign displayed on a screen in the backgound in this illu...
Associated Press

Monkeypox declared a global emergency by UN health agency

The expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries is an “extraordinary” situation that qualifies as a global emergency.
21 days ago
Chinese paramilitary policemen march in front of the Japanese embassy where the Japanese flag is fl...
Associated Press

Japan’s ex-leader Shinzo Abe assassinated during a speech

TOKYO (AP) — Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated Friday on a street in western Japan by a gunman who opened fire on him from behind as he delivered a campaign speech — an attack that stunned a nation with some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere. The 67-year-old Abe, who was Japan’s […]
1 month ago
Firefighters hose down a burning car after a strike hit a residential area, in Kramatorsk, Donetsk ...
Associated Press

Russia taking ‘operational pause’ in Ukraine, analysts say

Analysts say Russia may be taking an "operational pause" in eastern Ukraine to reassemble forces for a significant offensive.
1 month ago
Prime Minister Boris Johnson enters 10 Downing Street, after reading a statement in London, Thursda...
Associated Press

One scandal too many: British PM Boris Johnson resigns

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation Thursday after droves of top government officials quit over the latest scandal to engulf him, marking an end to three tumultuous years in which he tried to bluster his way through one ethical lapse after another. Months of defiance ended almost with a shrug as […]
1 month ago
Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin with the remains of Army Col. Oleksander Makhachek during a f...
Associated Press

As Ukraine loses troops, how long can it keep up the fight?

ZHYTOMYR (AP) — As soon as they had finished burying a veteran colonel killed by Russian shelling, the cemetery workers readied the next hole. Inevitably, given how quickly death is felling Ukrainian troops on the front lines, the empty grave won’t stay that way for long. Col. Oleksandr Makhachek left behind a widow, Elena, and […]
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Catholic bishops deny role in Argentine junta