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  • Pope Francis greets Estela Carlotto and her grandson Ignacio Guido Montoya on November 5, 2014. (Photo: EFE)

    Pope Francis greets Estela Carlotto and her grandson Ignacio Guido Montoya on November 5, 2014. (Photo: EFE) | Photo: EFE

Published 6 November 2014

Estela de Carlotto, along with members of her family met privately with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

The founder of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, Estela de Carlotto held a private meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday. Carlotto called the Pope, “An example, a progressive man, a man of faith for the 21st century and of a church for the people.”

Carlotto's group was founded in the midst of the Argentinian dictatorship with the objective of locating and returning all abducted and missing children who were kidnapped by the state to their legitimate families. The dictatorship stole the children of the disappeared and murdered and had them adopted by families sympathetic to the military.

Pope Francis and Estela Carlotto were joined by her grandson Ignacio Guido Montoya, who only recently discovered he’s related to Carlotto, after undergoing a DNA test. His mother gave birth to him while in jail, she and his father both died in prison. The Pope also met with Carlotto's 3 children and many of her grandchildren.

The meeting was held in the Vatican city and lasted for about 30 minutes, said the Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi. During the meeting, the Carlotto family gave Pope Francis several gifts, amongst them, a CD with Guido’s music, a poncho and a sculpture that represents the values of truth, justice and memory.

When then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was selected as Pope he faced scrutiny from sectors of Argentinian society for not speaking out against the dictatorship as many other priests did in Argentina at the time. Carlotto told the news agency AFP that those issues have been resolved for her.


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