The controversy has dogged Pope Francis throughout his entire career, and dominated the headlines of Argentine newspapers Saturday. One of the country's biggest dailies called it "Vati-denial" with a nod to the recent "Vati-leaks," controversy.
As late as 2010, in a case brought against the church, he was grilled by attorney Myriam Bregman about what he knew about the eradication of almost the entire de la Cuarda family, and baby Ana's unlawful adoption.
Another human-rights attorney, Luis Zamora, questioned then Cardinal Bergoglio about the existence of church records that among aspects could potentially help reunite missing children with their actual families.
"Zamoro; Does any archive exist in the CEA (Episcopal Conference of Argentina) Bergoglio: I suppose yes, but I don't know Zamoro: is that archive under your jurisdiction Bergoglio: The Central Archive of the CEA is under the jurisdiction of the CEA Zamoro: And who presides over the CEA? Bergoglio: I do"
Bergoglio said he would possibly look into the records, but the Catholic Church has yet to hand over any documents about their role in the Dirty War.
In his testimony, later posted on an Argentine human rights website, Bergoglio said that when he learned of the kidnappings he "acted immediately," contacting the police and the armed forces in an effort to help the two priests. It was, he said, "a moment of desperation."
Thirty-five years later, de la Cuadra is asked whether she is angry at the new pope?
"Angry? I am indignant!" she said.
She said her family only wanted the truth and that because of the Church's complicity, Argentines deserve the truth. She has demanded that Bergoglio open the church archives. She says that as the most powerful catholic in the land, he had the authority and the power to do so. But Bergoglio has said he would not open the archives.
Having told her story, Estela de la Cuadra seemed exhausted. The past two days had taken a toll. Her parents, who had championed the family's cause, had died years ago. She was tired, dark circles ringing her eyes. The family tragedy belonged to her alone now.
She began to carefully pack the documents and mementos back into that battered leather suitcase. We accompanied De La Cuadra, to a press conference in Buenos Aires, where she would tell her story yet again, hoping it would lead to the truth.