- Apr 16, 2021
Pope Francis sent home 50 rosary beads for military men and women in his native country Argentina who are imprisoned as they await trial for alleged crimes committed during the country’s “dirty war,” the anti-communist campaign by the country’s military junta that left thousands of disappeared from 1976 to 1983.
Argentina’s bishops’ conference says it will hand over roughly 100 certificates from baptisms performed in a chapel at a former torture center, to help identify children separated from parents.
From 1976 to 1983, Argentina was embroiled in a campaign known as the “dirty war.” Waged by the military against suspected left-wing political opponents, the violence left an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 people missing or dead. In 1982, Claudia Raffaele escaped to the United States, and is now a teacher at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, the bishops’ conference of Argentina and the Vatican announced that a project of digitizing all Church records in the country related to people who disappeared under the country’s military regime, personally requested by Pope Francis, is complete.
Although accused of being Communists, three priests and two seminarians murdered in Argentina in 1976 under a military regime today are seen as martyrs to the faith. Many Argentinians hope it will be their pope, Francis, who opened their saint cause 11 years ago, who canonizes them.