Nobel Peace Prize winner again defends Pope Francis
March 25, 2013
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, an Argentine human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980, has again come to the defense of Pope Francis for his actions during the years when the nation was under military rule.
“The election of Pope Francis represents for me grace,” said Pérez Esquivel following an audience with the Pope. “It is a strong sign of the Spirit which has come at a moment in which the Church and the world feel a great need for renewal, spirituality, and service to society.”
Pope Francis “is above all a pastor,” he continued. “Even in Argentina, in spite of the his responsibilities as a Jesuit and then in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and the bishops' conference, he has always been a serene and shy man, constantly attentive to the problems of the country and especially of the people.”
“I believe the defamatory campaign against Pope Francis was fueled by various political and ideological trends,” he added. “Since the accusations were completely unfounded I felt the need to prove them wrong. Pope Francis did not have anything to do with the military dictatorship.”
“And I am not the only one to say this,” he continued. “This is true according to the president of the Supreme Court of Justice in Argentina. There are no shadows in Bergoglio's past. And in no way can anyone say that he was involved with the dictatorship. On the contrary he fought on behalf of the missing people and of the persecuted. However not all of his speeches were heard. The military said ‘yes’ to everyone but they then did the contrary.”
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- A time of hope and renewal (L’Osservatore Romano)
- Nobel Peace Prize winner defends Pope’s actions during ‘dirty war’ (CWN, 3/22)