Pope Francis' Relatives Killed In Car Accident In Native Argentina

News that several relatives of Pope Francis were killed in a tragic accident in his native Argentina has left the Pontiff devastated. Information is scarce at this time; however, we know that some of the victims were very young.

A statement from the Vatican and local police indicates a total of three relatives of Pope Francis were killed in a car crash while a fourth remains in critical condition near the city of Cordoba, Argentina. A small vehicle carrying Emanuel Horacio Bergogolio, 35, a nephew of the pope, along with his wife, and two young children, slammed into the back of a truck, according to Jorge Raineri, a highway police superintendent.

The accident, which happened about 360 miles northeast of the capital, Buenos Aires, killed Bergoglio's wife Valeria Carmona, 36, and their children. The husband and father, who is the son of Pope Francis' late brother, Alberto Bergoglio suffered serious injuries and remains in critical condition, according to Ignacio Bruno, assistant director of the hospital in Villa Maria, speaking to Todo Noticias television.

Bruno said that Carmona and the two children, José, two years, and Antonio, eight months, died before reaching the hospital due to the severity of their injuries. The accident happened on a stretch of highway between the cities of Rosario and Cordoba, while the family was returning to Buenos Aires after a long weekend. The driver of the bus was unharmed.

The Vatican spokesman, Reverend Federico Lombardi, said: "The pope was informed about the tragic accident. He is deeply pained." He added Pope Francis asked for prayers for his relatives "all who shared in his grief to unite with him in prayer."

Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires with the name Jorge Mario Bergoglio and is the first South American to be elected head of the Catholic Church. The death of his young relatives comes as the Holy Father has just completed a successful visit to South Korea and made some startling statements about his future.

Pope Francis in South Korea
Image via L'Osservatore Romano

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Pope Francis made a startling statement when he suggested that he might only be around for two or three years, leaving reporters baffled:

"I see it as the generosity of the people of God. I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, not to become proud. Because I know it will last only a short time. Two or three years and then I'll be off to the Father's House."
It is unlikely Pope Francis would travel to Argentina to be with his family after the death of his relatives. Many are already offering condolences to the man who has shaken the Catholic Church in the short time he has been at its helm.

[Image via giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com]