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The honeymoon is over

HONG KONG (SE): It seems the honeymoon is over for Pope Francis within two days of being elected to the Chair of Peter and even before his official installation on March 19.

On March 15, the Vatican press officer, Father Federico Lombardi, read a statement in response to accusations that as the Jesuit superior he failed to support two priests working in the slums during the government of the military junta in the late 1970s.

“The campaign against Bergoglio is well known and dates back many years ago,” Father Lombardi said. “It has been made by a publication that carries out sometimes slanderous and defamatory campaigns. The anticlerical cast of this campaign and of other accusations against Bergoglio is well known and obvious.”

He continued, “Instead, there have been many declarations demonstrating how much Bergoglio did to protect many persons at the time of the military dictatorship.”

Filipino, Alex Aquino, a respected leader in the resistance movement in his home country during Martial Law under Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s, told the Sunday Examiner that he believes that the accusation against the new pope cannot have any basis.

“Under a military government no one knows what anyone is doing,” he said. “We did not talk about what we were really doing, as we never knew who was listening or who people were reporting to.”

He added that the first victim of such a violent regime is truth and this bequeaths a legacy of fabricated lies, fiction and imagined history.

Father Lombardi concluded, “The accusations pertain to a use of historical-sociological analysis of the dictatorship period made years ago by anticlerical elements to attack the Church. They must be firmly rejected,” Father Lombardi concluded.

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