Former Jesuit, Editor of Aufbruch, Accuses Pope of “Collaboration” with Argentine Dictatorship

Lukas Niederberger, former Jesuit and current editor of the journal Aufbruch, accuses Pope Francis in the current issue of having collaborated with the Argentine dictatorship, KIPA reports.

“The new pope contests that Father Bergoglio collaborated with the military junta as superior of the Argentinian Jesuits from 1976 to 1983. That is surely a lie, in that he could have freed some priests and nuns from the hands of the junta,” Niederberger declared. Presumably one should view his role similarly to that of Pius XII with the Third Reich.

Niederberger reports that he attended several contemplation courses in the late 80s with Jesuit teacher of meditation Franz Jalics. Jalics recounted his time in Argentinian military prison to the young Jesuit and stated that Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) had denounced him as a communist at that time.

Niedergerg was a Jesuit from 1985 until 2007. He said he finds it disconcerting how quickly the Jesuits arranged for “a statement friendly about the Pope from Jalics, and changed the entry on Franz Jalics at Wikipedia.” With this the German leadership of the order promotes “negative clichés of the Jesuits as devious, cunning, and scheming.”


  1. I think this is a non-story. I knew about the allegations before the election, and it was reported right afterwards as well. There may be some truth to it, but I highly suspect it is a partial truth that belittles the true circumstances.

  2. And Jalics himself has just gone public again in Germany, now insisting explicitly that Bergoglio was not to blame for his incarceration, nor its length. Jalics claims, however, that this only became clear to him some years after the events.

  3. Jalics’ book on contemplation written in the 90s does state that he believed he was betrayed to the junta, though he doesn’t name names. Excerpts in this article …

    I don’t know about the truth of the allegation, but given the Jesuit order’s stance in many other Latin American countries at that time (and Arrupe’s stance), it does seem worth noting.

  4. Here is an article on Jalics’ recent statement, presumably prompted by articles like the one Crystal cited:

    “I myself was once inclined to believe that we were the victims of a denunciation,” Jalics said. “[But] at the end of the 90s, after numerous conversations, it became clear to me that this suspicion was unfounded. It is therefore wrong to assert that our capture took place at the initiative of Father Bergoglio.”

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