Ex-Jesuit witness: Bergoglio knew in 1979 all about the massive abuse in Bolivia

When Bergoglio visited Bolivia in 1979, "it was the time of greatest abuse," says the former Jesuit Lima

The former Jesuit Pedro Lima, who has become one of the most visible faces that denounces paedophilic priests, points out that in a meeting in 1979, in which the current Pope Francis participated, they knew about "the issue of John XXIII College."

Former Jesuit Pedro Lima affirmed this Friday that when, in 1979, Jorge Bergoglio, current Pope Francis, visited Cochabamba it was "the time of greatest abuse" that priests committed against minors. Faced with such a situation, Lima believes that the leader of the Catholic Church should also rule on whether, at that time, he already had knowledge of the acts of pedophilia.

"At the time he came, it has been the time of greatest abuse, so the Pope also has to rule (on) what knowledge he had of the case, to what depth," Lima said in an interview with EL DEBER.

According to Lima, Bergoglio came to a Latin American meeting in his capacity as "Argentine trainer" and that, according to his version, at that meeting some complaints of abuse at the Juan XXIII school in Cochabamba were already known.

“In that Latin American meeting they knew about the John XXIII issue and that they were not quick or harsh in their decisions, and that is what you have to ask them (those who participated in the meeting). But, in 1979, the topic of John XXIII had already been put on the table. In that meeting of trainers, where the current pope was a trainer of Argentina, (…) the subject of John XXIII was already known, ”he pointed out.

According to a publication published on the website jesuitas.org.bo, in Cochabamba there was a meeting of those "in charge of the studies of the Jesuits of the Southern Cone", from August 7 to 8, 1979.

On the same website, a photograph from that time is published which, according to its own text, "testifies this meeting took place because it portrays both Father Pedro Arrupe and the now Pope Francis, at that time Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who participated in this meeting ”.

This new version from Lima comes hours after it was known that Francisco responded to a letter from President Luis Arce. The Pope, in his response, expressed his pain and "feelings of shame and dismay" over the acts of paedophilia committed by some priests in Bolivia.


The webpage referred to and translated below

General Superiors in the Bolivian Province of the Society of Jesus


Three Superiors General of the Society of Jesus visited the Bolivian Province. Father Arturo Sosa, SJ will be the fourth Superior General to arrive in Bolivia. The visit is scheduled for July 14-19.

The mission of a Superior General of the Society of Jesus consists in directing this religious Order according to the Constitutions, norms and guidelines of the General Congregations, as Saint Ignatius of Loyola wrote in 1540, the first Superior General of the Jesuits.

Below we present a summary of the visits of the Superiors General of this Order who arrived in Bolivia:

Father Pedro Arrupe, SJ

He was born in Bilbao, Spain in 1907 and died in 1991. He was Superior General of the Society of Jesus between 1965 and 1983. He visited Bolivia on two occasions. The first, from July 9 to 15, 1969.

The reason for his visit was to attend the closing meeting of Jesuit brothers with the provincials of the area known as the Southern Cone: Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina.

This meeting took place in Santa Vera Cruz, Cochabamba. He also visited the city of La Paz where he was visited with educational works and had other meetings with religious and political personalities.

“It was the first time that a General crossed the Atlantic to visit our Province. For us it was a great joy and even more so to see a person like him. The presence of a Father General always encourages the Jesuits to feel his presence and closeness”, affirms Father Antonio Menacho SJ, who was able to live this experience.

The second visit of Father Arrupe to Bolivia took place from August 7 to 8, 1979. He arrived in Cochabamba to participate in a meeting with the Jesuit Studies Officers of the Southern Cone.

A photograph treasured by Father Antonio Menacho, SJ bears witness to this meeting because it portrays both Father Pedro Arrupe and the now Pope Francis, at that time, Jorge Mario Bergoglio who participated in this meeting

The current Superior General of the Jesuits, Father Arturo Sosa, SJ, reported that, 27 years after the death of Father Pedro Arrupe SJ, the Vatican has given the go-ahead to begin the process of beatification of whoever took the helm of the Society of Jesus for almost 20 years

Father Hans Peter Kolvenbach SJ

Of Dutch origin, he was born on September 30, 1928 and died on November 26, 2016. Superior General of the Society of Jesus from 1983 until his resignation in 2008.

He also visited the Province on two occasions. First, in 1989 between March 6 and 12.

"On March 6, he came to Bolivia to learn, to listen to discover the work of the Jesuits, pointing out that it was a privilege to be in this country for the first time," said Father Antonio Menacho.

He then went to Santa Cruz to meet with collaborators from the rural area. On March 8, he was in Cochabamba with the Jesuit students and their trainers. On March 9, he visited the John XXIII College and other educational works. On March 10, he visited Fe y Alegría schools, the Educational Multiservice Center (CEMSE), the San Calixto Observatory and the Fides News Agency (ANF). On March 11 he traveled to Oruro to tour the parishes and works of the Company and on the 12th he returned to Rome.

The second visit of Father Kolvenbach was from November 4 to 8, 2001. He visited Santa Cruz where he toured the works of Fe y Alegría, IRFA Radio Santa Cruz, on November 6 he moved to Cochabamba to meet with young Jesuits in formation and visit the Parish of Santa Vera Cruz. Finally, on November 8, he met in La Paz with the educational works of the Jesuits.

Father Adolfo Nicolás SJ

Spanish Jesuit born in 1936. On January 19, 2008 he was elected as the thirtieth Superior General of the Society of Jesus succeeding Peter Hans Kolvenbach S.J. He was in office until October 14, 2016, when he was succeeded by Father Arturo Sosa, SJ.

The Father General of the Society of Jesus, Adolfo Nicolás SJ, visited the Jesuit Province of Bolivia between November 5 and 7, 2012. In the City of La Paz he met with the President of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference (CEB ) of that moment, Cardinal Julio Terrazas; with the Archbishop of Santa Cruz, Monsignor Sergio Gualberti; and with the Auxiliary Bishops of that Archdiocese.

Later he moved to Cochabamba, where he toured some of the works of the Society of Jesus and had a meeting with collaborators of the works, with Jesuits.

In this city, he participated in the Fe y Alegría International Congress whose theme was: "Challenges of inclusive education (disability, youth at risk and interculturality)"

Finally, Father Nicolás, SJ, met with Jesuits from the Province, students, and presided over a Eucharist in the Church of the Society of Jesus, in which Jesuits and collaborators participated.#

Images of the Generals' visits to Bolivia in the following video:

The Pope's recent statement on the case.....

Pope Francis "moved and affected" responds to Bolivia for the cases of paedophilia and promises to repair the injustices

President Arce's letter to Francisco was sent on May 22 and on June 15 the response was known. The Minister of the Presidency said that they will activate the diplomatic representation that the country has in the Vatican to complete the work.

One day before receiving the medical discharge, Pope Francis responded to President Arce after the cases of paedophilia in the Bolivian Catholic Church became known. "I feel moved and affected. I express the total availability of the Church to work with the Government of Bolivia to repair injustices, faithful to the task of protecting those who are the favorites of Jesus," says part of the letter that he read this Thursday the Minister of the Presidency, María Nela Prada.

The letter addressed to Pope Francis from the Government of Bolivia was sent on May 22, in which the president, Luis Arce, formally requested that justice be able to access the archives of the Church in Bolivia and verify the complaints of abuses raised in the country; Likewise, he asked that the State be able to have access to the background of the religious who arrive in Bolivia on educational missions.

The Pope's letter is dated May 31, but the Bolivian people learned about it today, and in it he responded to the Bolivian State on the request for cooperation to punish cases of pedophilia. It makes the cooperation of the Church available; now the Government requested the records of all the religious who have denounced similar cases and who may be in Bolivia.

"This problem continues to be one of the biggest challenges for the Church of our time, in this sense, Mr. President, I express my firm desire to respond with the promise of total availability of the Church to work together with the Government of your country, I ask the Lord to help us to fulfill with generosity our duty to repair injustices”, says another part.

Pope Francis will be discharged this Friday, after having undergone surgery at the Gemelli hospital in Rome for an abdominal hernia on June 7, the Vatican reported today.

Prada announced that they will immediately ask the Bolivian ambassador to the Vatican, Teresa Subieta, to contact the authorities of the Holy See and request the records of the religious stationed in Bolivia.

"Our Ministry of Foreign Relations, as of the official reception of this note that has come to us from the Vatican, will proceed to make contact through our diplomatic representation to establish the joint working mechanism, as we had stated in relation to the review of the background of the priests of the Catholic Church who are in our country”, said the authority.

Later, he urged the assembly members to approve and sanction the bill to combat impunity for sexual crimes against girls, boys, infants, and adolescents, which declares the imprescriptibility of crimes of sexual abuse against minors and to have a legal norm that punishes these facts.

Cathcon:  The Pope needs to be absolutely clear as a pastor and leader about what did he know and when


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