The Vatican has firmly denied these claims and there have since been many reports of the "quiet diplomacy" used by Pope Francis, who was then named Jorge Mario Bergoglio and head of the Jesuit order in Argentina. There was no official word on the content of the talks between Francis and Jalics, who was born in Hungary and now lives in a German monastery. Francis has said he experienced "a period of great internal crisis" at the time of the junta and admitted to making mistakes in his leadership. A recent book by an Italian journalist, however, said he took in many leftist students at risk of being jailed by the dictatorship and advised his priests on how best to avoid being spied on. It also published transcripts from testimony given by Bergoglio to prosecutors investigating the crimes of the junta in which he said he lobbied for the release of Jalics and Orlando Yorio.
The two young Jesuits who were preaching in the slums were taken in March 1976 to the notorious Naval School of Mechanics, a torture centre run by the junta. They were freed after five months.
Father Franz Jalics now lives in a monastery in Germany. Following controversy after the Pope's election in March, Jalics released a statement saying: "Yorio and I were not reported by Father Bergoglio". "I myself formerly tended to believe that we were reported. At the end of the 1990s however it became clear to me after numerous conversations that this assumption was baseless," Jalics said.