Vatican City

Pope Francis did 'much to protect people' under dictator

As archbishop asked pardon for not doing enough, says Lombardi

Pope Francis did 'much to protect people' under dictator

Vatican City, March 15 - Pope Francis, while still a Jesuit priest in his home city of Buenos Aires, did much to protect the people during Argentina's 'Dirty War' in the late 1970s, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said on Friday. "And once he became Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he asked for forgiveness for not doing enough during the dictatorship," Lombardi said. Articles critical of the pope's alleged inaction during his home country's dictatorship years appeared Thursday in papers ranging from the New York Times to Spain's El Mundo and even Argentina's Pagina 12. "There has never been a credible accusation against him," said Lombardi. "Attacks from certain Argentine papers (against the pope) are from an anticlerical left...and should be categorically rejected," he said.

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