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Vatican Blasts 'Dirty War' Allegations

Pope Francis was head of the Jesuit order in Argentina at the time of the country's "Dirty War" in 1976-83.
The Vatican has denied allegations that new Pope Francis failed to speak out about human rights abuses during the military dictatorship in his native Argentina.

Critics have attacked the pope, formerly known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, for alleged inaction during Argentina’s "Dirty War" from 1976 to 1983, when thousands of opponents of the regime were killed or disappeared.

Bergoglio was head of the Jesuit order in Argentina at the time.

Responding to renewed questions about the pope’s role, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said, "There has never been a credible, concrete accusation" against Bergoglio, adding he had never been charged with a crime.

The spokesman denounced the accusations as "defamatory," blaming them on "anticlerical left-wing elements” seeking to attack the Roman Catholic Church.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP