3. Bishops listening to question during press conference
4. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Carlos Humberto Malfa, Bishop:
"The victims or the direct family members can make the request through the Argentine Bishops' Conference according to the protocol that we are currently finishing and from there they will receive the requested information from the archives, be it from (documents kept in) the Argentine Bishops' Conference, or from the Nunciature or in the Holy See (Vatican Secretariat of State.)"
5. Cutaway of cameras
6. Press conference
7. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Mario Poli, Cardinal:
"We truly believe it is in the service of offering truth, something that has been said many times here (Argentine Bishops' Conference offices) and of course the Pope (Francis) is behind all of this. This text (outlining the cataloguing of their archives from the country's "dirty war") has been shown to the Pope when we were in the process of developing it after a workday and of course he is in agreement with this work, obviously. He looks on it very favourably, this new step that we have made."
8. Close of sign for Episcopal conference
9. Bishops standing up to leave at end of press conference
10. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Dora Salas, member of the group Families of the Disappeared and Held for Political Reasons:
"The reality is that family members have been asking for and pushing for the release of the Vatican documents for a very long time and in an insistent manner."
11. Bishops walking out of conference room
12. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Dora Salas, member of the group Families of the Disappeared and Held for Political Reasons:
"It is a very important day because it is the beginning of a new road, a new period. I believe important things were said, but I also think there is still a lot missing, a long road ahead, that needs to be done, as the panelist said."
FILE: Buenos Aires, Argentina - Various dates, exact dates unknown
++Black and White++
13. Various of military conducting searches on people during dictatorship years
Family members of people who were forcefully 'disappeared' during Argentina's 'dirty war' welcomed Tuesday's announcement that the Vatican and Argentina's bishops had finished cataloguing their archives from that period and would soon make them available to victims and their relatives.
A joint statement on Tuesday said the process of digitizing the archives had been completed and that procedures to access the information would be forthcoming.
No date was set, and the opening for now is restricted to victims, detainees, their relatives and the religious superiors of victims who were priests or nuns.
Bishop Carlos Humberto Malfa, during a press conference in Buenos Aires, said people can make the request according to a protocol that is being finalized.
Official estimates say about 13,000 people were killed or disappeared in a government-sponsored crackdown on leftist dissidents during Argentina's 1976-1983 "dirty war."
Human rights activists believe the real number was as high as 30,000.
The statement said the decision to open the church's archives was taken at the express direction of Pope Francis, "in the service of truth, justice and peace."
Francis himself had been criticized for not speaking out publicly about the atrocities, but he has also been credited with saving the lives of more than two dozen people, giving them sanctuary in his seminary and helping spirit them out of the country.
Dora Salas, who along with her husband and two small children were kidnapped during the last de facto regime in Argentina (1976-1983), was pleased that about the announcement.
Francis' decision to open the church's archives raises the question of whether he will do the same elsewhere in Latin America, where some members of the church and Vatican hierarchy were seen as being aligned with right-wing military dictatorships that targeted leftists in El Salvador, Chile, Nicaragua and elsewhere, even while fellow priests were being targeted.