July 15, 2024

Old Wounds: The Pope Speaks to the Jesuits on Argentina

Old Wounds: The Pope Speaks to the Jesuits on Argentina

Meeting with Hungarian Jesuits during the Apostolic Journey to Hungary, Francis spoke in detail about the time during the Argentine dictatorship and his relationship with fellow Jesuit Father Franz Jalisch. Dealing with abusers was also the usual open topic of discussion between the pope and the Jesuits.

Christine Suss – Vatican

Francis had received the Hungarian Jesuits on the second day of his stay in Budapest at the embassy in Budapest. As is now customary, Father Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of the Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica, made a transcript of the conversation, which was published on Tuesday. During the conversation, the Pope went into particularly great detail about his role during the military dictatorship in Argentina and the allegations made afterwards about his conduct.

The imprisoned Jesuits were priests, not politicians

Fathers Franz Jalisch and Orlando Yorio did well in a working-class area, according to the Pope, who was the province of the Argentine Jesuits at the time. He had a special relationship with the Hungarian Jalich: he was Bergoglio’s spiritual advisor and father confessor during the first and second years of his theological studies. There was a guerrilla cell in the neighborhood where he worked. But the Jesuits had nothing to do with them: they were priests, not politicians.” Nevertheless, they were caught and innocently spent nine months in detention, during which they were tortured and threatened. This, Francis admitted, left “deep wounds” even after her release.

In a personal conversation shortly after his release, he advised Galix to go to his mother in the United States. The situation was very confusing and uncertain. Then the legend arose that it was I who caught them.” However, just a month earlier, the Argentine Bishops’ Conference had published two of the planned three volumes that would be all documents between church and church about these reproduced military events: “You can read everything there Francis said.

“There was a distance”

On several occasions he met Jälich again in later years, but at the last meeting in the Vatican it became clear that Jälich found it difficult “because he didn’t know how to talk to me”: “There was a distance. The wounds of the last few years remained in me and in him because we We suffered from this persecution.”

As Francis put it plainly, a later Democratic government wanted to “cut off his head,” so to speak, and interrogated him at length about his behavior during the regime as part of a trial. One judge in particular was very persistent, even if from his point of view the “only serious and sensible question” came from a communist lawyer: “It is thanks to this question that things can be clarified. In the end, my innocence has been proven.”

“It was a very painful case.”

But in the process Jàlics are rarely mentioned; Instead, it was about other cases. Later he saw two judges again as pope. One of them confided to him that there were “clear instructions” from the government for his sentencing: “But I would like to add that the situation in Argentina when the army kidnapped Yalish and Yorio was baffling and it was baffling at all that it was not clear what to do. I did what I thought necessary to defend it.” It was a very painful case.”

Christian love towards abusers?

But the conversation also touched on other topics, with Francis, as usual, giving his friends the freedom to ask what was on their minds. One Jesuit asked how one could feel Christian love for those who had committed offenses. “It’s not really easy,” Francis admitted. They are also children of God, even if we reduce them: “Your question is very strong. The offender, indeed, must be condemned, but as a brother. The easy to understand or live. The transgressor is an enemy (…) but he is also the Son of God (…) who deserves punishment, but at the same time he deserves pastoral care, “even if this was not easy, was the balanced answer of the church leader.

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Promised return to Hungary

As to the reason behind his return trip to Hungary, Pope Francis reiterated that he had promised to return when he was in the capital for a few hours on his way to Slovakia for the 2021 Eucharistic Conference. At that time, there was a short informal talk with government representatives on the sidelines of the programme.

Clear communication and coherence

On how to engage with young people, the Pope expressed his conviction that “clear words” and coherence are the right way to communicate with young people: . But this should not be the case with young people: you need to communicate clearly with them and show coherence. “But to speak clearly does not mean to be aggressive,” said the Pope, whose key word authenticity was also important in this context: The prophecy of a young man stems from a tender relationship with an old person. “Tenderness” is one of God’s words: closeness, tenderness, tenderness. This way we will never go wrong. This is God’s way.”

“This is God’s way.”

In a conversation with the Jesuits, the Pope again warned of the danger of “turning backwards.” The Second Vatican Council, which talks about the relationship between the Church and the modern world, is still in the implementation phase today. But Francis said this is a bottom-up change: “The danger today is backwardness, a reaction against modernity. It is a disease of nostalgia. Therefore, I have decided that all newly ordained priests must obtain permission to celebrate according to the Roman Mass of 1962.” Because the celebration of the old Mass “was used in an ideological way” to return: “It was necessary to put an end to backwardness, which was not in the pastoral vision of my predecessors,” said the Pope, referring to John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who allowed the celebration of Mass again after a general mass 1962.

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Underdevelopment is a disease of nostalgia

How he experienced his ordination to the priesthood and what advice he could give him was the last question asked by the candidate who in three weeks would be ordained priest to the pope.

Francis, ordained priest on December 13, 1969, said two of his five companions were still alive. He has fond memories of the simple dedication that Bishop Ramón José Castellano performed in the garden of Córdoba Theological College. “And it was also great to see that a group of my comrades from the chemical laboratory where I worked, all atheists and communists, were present. They were present…”

(Vatican News)