Bergoglio OK'd sainthood cases for slain churchmen



Buenos Aires: The Vatican said that before he became Pope Francis, Argentina's Catholic leader took the first steps toward granting sainthood status to six churchmen who were murdered in July 1976 as Argentina's dictatorship began killing thousands of so-called "subversives."

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi says Jorge Bergoglio approved the beatification cause of Carlos de Dios Murias, a Franciscan priest whose eyes were gouged out and hands cut off in Argentina's La Rioja province.

Bergoglio also OK'd a sainthood investigation for a priest and four seminarians killed at St. Patrick's Church in Buenos Aires.

Father Alfredo Kelly and seminarians Alfredo Leaden, Pedro Dufau, Salvador Berbeito and Emilio Barletti, were shot to death by a right-wing hit squad that sprayed graffiti calling it revenge for a leftist guerrilla bombing.

PTI