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Locally
Masses to celebrate Francis’ elevation
The Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades, bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, will offer two Masses in upcoming days to offer thanksgiving for the election of Pope Francis and pray for his ministry as the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
A Mass using a special liturgy reserved for the election of a new pope will be offered in Fort Wayne at 5 p.m. Monday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 1122 S. Clinton St.
Rhoades also will offer a Mass for the new pope at 3 p.m. Friday at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend.
The Mass will be a choral Mass and have participation by Pueri Cantores, a group of about 400 youth singers from around the diocese, including many from Fort Wayne. The Mass is by invitation only and for family and guests of the singers.
– Rosa Salter Rodriguez,
The Journal Gazette

Vatican denies pope ignored ‘dirty war’

Francis

– The honeymoon that Pope Francis has enjoyed since his remarkable election hit a bump Friday, with the Vatican lashing out at what it called a defamatory and “anti-clerical left-wing” media campaign questioning his actions during Argentina’s murderous military dictatorship.

On Day 2 of the Francis pontificate, the Vatican denounced news reports in Argentina and beyond resurrecting allegations that the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio failed to openly confront the junta responsible for kidnapping and killing thousands of people in a “dirty war” to eliminate leftist opponents.

Bergoglio, like most other Argentines, didn’t publicly confront the dictators who ruled from 1976 to 1983, while he was the leader of the country’s Jesuits. And human rights activists differ on how much blame he deserves.

Top church leaders had endorsed the junta and some priests even worked alongside torturers inside secret prisons. Nobody has produced any evidence suggesting Bergoglio had anything to do with such crimes.

But many activists are angry that as archbishop of Buenos Aires for more than a decade, he didn’t do more to support investigations into the atrocities.

On Thursday, the old ghosts resurfaced.

A group of 44 former military and police officers on trial for torture, rape and murder in a concentration camp in Cordoba province in the 1970s wore the yellow-and-white ribbons of the papal flag in Francis’ honor. Many Argentine newspapers ran the photo Friday.

The Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi noted that Argentine courts had never accused Bergoglio of any crime, that he had denied all accusations against him and that on the contrary “there have been many declarations demonstrating how much Bergoglio did to protect many persons at the time.”

He said the accusations were made long ago “by anti-clerical left-wing elements to attack the church. They must be firmly rejected.”

The harsh denunciation was typical of a Vatican that often reacts defensively when it feels under attack, even though its response served to give the story legs for another day.

It interrupted the generally positive reception Francis has enjoyed since his election as pope on Wednesday, when even his choice of footwear – his old black shoes rather than the typical papal red – was noted as a sign of his simplicity and humility.

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