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Future Pope saved dozens of lives, say survivors of Argentina’s ‘Dirty War’

Catholic World News - March 19, 2014

The future Pope Francis, then a young Jesuit superior, saved dozens of lives during the Argentine military regime’s “Dirty War” against political dissidents in the 1970s and early 1980s, according to an Associated Press report.

“The chilling accounts of survivors who credit [Father Jorge Mario] Bergoglio with saving their lives are hard to deny,” AP reported. “They say he conspired right under the soldiers' noses at the theological seminary he directed, providing refuge and safe passage to dozens of priests, seminarians and political dissidents marked for elimination by the 1976-1983 military regime.”

The circumspect Father Bergoglio “remained silent in the face of atrocity” and “used back channels, did not complain in public and, meanwhile, he was saving people who sought refuge in the Colegio,” said Argentine investigative journalist Marcelo Larraquy.

“He locked them up in the compound, gave them help and food, and set up a logistical network to get them out of the country,” added Larraquy. “But his condition for giving them refuge was that they had to give up all political activism.”

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