Europe

Vatican, Argentine church to open "dirty war" archives

  • A man stands outside the Cathedral, which was previously defaced during a protest against gender violence, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016.  The Vatican and Argentina's bishops have finished cataloguing their archives from the country's "dirty war" and will soon make them available to victims and their relatives who have long accused church members of complicity with the military dictatorship. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    A man stands outside the Cathedral, which was previously defaced during a protest against gender violence, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. The Vatican and Argentina's bishops have finished cataloguing their archives from the country's "dirty war" and will soon make them available to victims and their relatives who have long accused church members of complicity with the military dictatorship. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2016 file photo, Pope Francis sits at a table with, from left; Mons. Mario Antonio Cargnello, Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo, Cardinal Mario Poli, and Mons. Carlos Humberto Malfa, on the occasion of his meeting with the Argentine Episcopal Conference,at the Vatican. The Vatican and Argentina's Catholic Church said Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, they had finished cataloguing their archives from the country's brutal "dirty war" and will soon make them available to victims and their relatives who have long accused the church of complicity with the military dictatorship.  (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP, files)

    FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2016 file photo, Pope Francis sits at a table with, from left; Mons. Mario Antonio Cargnello, Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo, Cardinal Mario Poli, and Mons. Carlos Humberto Malfa, on the occasion of his meeting with the Argentine Episcopal Conference,at the Vatican. The Vatican and Argentina's Catholic Church said Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, they had finished cataloguing their archives from the country's brutal "dirty war" and will soon make them available to victims and their relatives who have long accused the church of complicity with the military dictatorship. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP, files)  (The Associated Press)

  • Angela "Lita" Boitano, president of Human Rights organization "Families of the Disappeared and Detained for Political Reasons," sits next to a picture of her with Pope Francis, taken on April 2015 when she traveled to the Vatican to ask the pope to declassify dictatorship files, as she poses for a portrait inside her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. The Vatican and Argentina's bishops have finished cataloguing their archives from the country's "dirty war" and will soon make them available to victims and their relatives who have long accused church members of complicity with the military dictatorship. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    Angela "Lita" Boitano, president of Human Rights organization "Families of the Disappeared and Detained for Political Reasons," sits next to a picture of her with Pope Francis, taken on April 2015 when she traveled to the Vatican to ask the pope to declassify dictatorship files, as she poses for a portrait inside her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. The Vatican and Argentina's bishops have finished cataloguing their archives from the country's "dirty war" and will soon make them available to victims and their relatives who have long accused church members of complicity with the military dictatorship. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

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.