Rome, March 21 - Horacio Verbitsky, the Argentine journalist who fingered Pope Francis for inaction to protect priests in his province during the military dictatorship (1976-1983), said on Thursday that new statements by the Jesuit priests free the pope from "any liability in their arrest and torture by the military". In an article in Argentina's Pagina12 daily paper where Verbitsky originally published his accusations based on interviews with two priests who were arrested and tortured in the country's 'Dirty War', Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics, the journalist said that Jalics first declared that he had "reconciled with Bergoglio". "Reconciliation is a Catholic sacrament that consists of pardoning. However, his (Jalics') latest statements go further and absolve Bergoglio of all responsibility," Verbitsky wrote. Verbitsky wrote that until recently the priest believed he had been "reported together with (Orlando) Yorio," and that it took "a quarter of a century to come to a different conclusion, and to be able to say that it was a mistake to blame our capture on an initiative by Bergoglio".