Pope Francis to Declassify Files on Uruguay Dictatorship

Pope Francis is the second head of Catholicism to begin a declassification process of Vatican documents.

Pope Francis ratified Monday his intention of declassifying Vatican's archives on Uruguay's military dictatorship, a process promoted by Pope Francis for a year.

"The holy father renewed his commitment to the declassification of the archives and expressed his support and solidarity for the human rights groups of the country," said Uruguay's new representative of the Vatican Mario Cayota to Telam., commenting his meeting with Pope Francis last Friday.

In April this year, the Vatican Secretariat of State began cataloging and ordering its archives that may contain information on the years of the dictatorship in Uruguay, between 1973 and 1985. However, the decision still required the approval of Uruguay's Catholic Church, which was eventually granted in July.

The declassification of the archives was one of the central themes of the meeting that Pope Francis and Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez had in the Vatican last December, when Vazquez appointed Cayota.

The material could basically contain letters from the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican's diplomatic mission to Uruguay and the number of files will depend on the digitalization process taken, according to Telam.

The Vatican is also carrying forward a declassification process with its archives on the dictatorship in Argentina, from 1976 until 1983, with files from the Argentine Episcopal Conference, in which the Vatican said it worked by "having as premise the service to truth, justice and peace, continuing the dialogue open to the culture of gathering of the Argentine people."

Pope Francis, who is Argentine, is the second head of the Catholic Church to begin the process of opening files. John Paul II began the same procedure in 2002 to shed a light on the role of the church during the Nazi era.