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Vatican lashes out against ‘defamatory’ campaign against pope

Pope Francis stumbles as he prepares greet cardinals SalClementinVatican Friday March 15 2013. The newly appointed Pope Francis stumbled after

Pope Francis stumbles as he prepares to greet cardinals in Sala Clementina, at the Vatican, Friday, March 15, 2013. The newly appointed Pope Francis stumbled after being introduced to the College of Cardinals, but did not fall and quickly recovered. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, left, introduced the pope to the College of Cardinals. (AP Photo/Vatican TV) TV OUT

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Updated: March 15, 2013 9:25AM



VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is lashing out at “defamatory” and “anti-clerical left-wing” forces seeking to discredit Pope Francis over his actions during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military junta.

The Vatican says no credible accusation had ever stuck against the new pope.

While the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio, like most other Argentines, failed to openly confront the murderous dictatorship, human rights activists differ on how much responsibility he personally deserves.

The Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi noted Friday that a Jesuit who was kidnapped during the dictatorship in a case that involved Bergoglio had issued a statement saying the two had reconciled.



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