Open the Vatican archives

the request of the Plaza de Mayo Grandmothers

The Vatican archives

The Vatican archives

"We kindly ask you to open the Vatican archives, including those existing in the Argentinian Archbishops' palaces, to look for any information that can bring us the hope to find some of our grandchildren". This is the conclusion of the letter written to Pope Francis by the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (lthe grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo) who have met him at the Vatican.

They are asking to open the Vatican archives concerning the time of dictatorship in Argentina, from 1976 to 1983, to help retrace the children of the missing people, the so-called desaparecidos, who were abducted and then handed over to families close to the regime.

"We are trying to peacefully retrace - through dialogue and justice - what State terrorism has sought to erase. On this long path, one of the major obstacles has been silence".

Therefore there are stlll 500 missing children. Once "adopted" by their new parents, they were given a new identity, deleting all references to their past and eliminating any possibility for their relatives to find them again. Nonetheless the Abuelas' effort has make it possible to retrace the wherabouts of 108 children, who are now helping in the search for the other missing youths.

Last year the Argentinian justice proved the existence of a systematic plan to grab minors during the military regime, and started convicting the authors of these crimes. Despite this important step forward, legal proceedings have not been able to acquire useful information to find the kidnapped children.

The request to open the archives stems from the fact that some of the "adoptions" were dealt with by priests and Catholic organizations."We are not asking to see the Vatican registers in order to accuse one priest or another - said abuela Estela Carlotto - but to find our grandchildren".

The archives about the Argentinian dictatorship have not been the only ones to be scrutinized by the public opinion. In fact precisely in these days rabbi Abraham Skorka, a great friend of Jorge Mario Bergoglio's, has made some statements about the need for a Papal intervention to open the Vatican archives concerning the Holocaust.

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