The Vatican and Argentina's Catholic Church say they have finished cataloguing their archives from the country's brutal "dirty war" and will make them available to victims who have long accused the church of complicity with the military dictatorship.

A joint statement Tuesday said the process of cataloguing and digitalization had been completed and procedures for victims to access the information would be forthcoming. The statement said the decision to open the archives of the Vatican, its Buenos Aires embassy and the Argentine bishops' conference was taken "in the service of truth, justice and peace."

Pope Francis had pledged to open the archives when pressed by relatives of "desaparecidos" or disappeared, particularly the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. He was the Jesuit superior in Argentina during the country's 1976-1983 dictatorship.