3 of Pope’s relatives killed

By Jason Hanna and Elwyn Lopez, CNN

updated 2:02 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Police: A car driven by the Pope’s nephew struck a truck on a highway in Cordoba, Argentina
  • The crash killed the nephew’s sons and wife, police say
  • The Pope’s nephew, Emanuel Bergoglio, is in critical condition

(CNN) — Two of Pope Francis’ grandnephews and the boys’ mother were killed early Tuesday in a car crash in the pontiff’s homeland of Argentina, police said.

The pontiff’s nephew, Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio, was critically injured in the crash on a highway in Cordoba province, said Carina Ferreyra, a Cordoba provincial police spokeswoman.

A car driven by Bergoglio struck a truck about 12:30 a.m., killing his sons — Jose Bergoglio, 8 months, and Antonio Bergoglio, 2 — and his wife, Valeria Carmona, 36.

Pope Francis speaks during the feast-day Mass on a one-day trip to the Calabrian region of Italy on Saturday, June 21. The Pope spoke out against the Mafia's "adoration of evil and contempt for the common good," and declared that "mafiosi are excommunicated, not in communion with God.'Pope Francis speaks during the feast-day Mass on a one-day trip to the Calabrian region of Italy on Saturday, June 21. The Pope spoke out against the Mafia’s “adoration of evil and contempt for the common good,” and declared that “mafiosi are excommunicated, not in communion with God.’

Pope Francis

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Pope Francis waves to crowds from inside a vehicle near Seoul Air Base in Seongnam on Monday, August 18. The Pope's trip to South Korea marks the first papal visit to the country since Pope John Paul II went there 25 years ago.Pope Francis waves to crowds from inside a vehicle near Seoul Air Base in Seongnam on Monday, August 18. The Pope’s trip to South Korea marks the first papal visit to the country since Pope John Paul II went there 25 years ago.

Pope Francis visits South Korea

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Photos: Pope Francis visits South KoreaPhotos: Pope Francis visits South Korea

Emanuel Bergoglio, 35, was taken to a hospital in Cordoba, where he was in critical condition Tuesday morning, Ferreyra said.

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Pope Francis was “deeply hurt” by news of the crash, a Vatican spokesman said.

“The Pope has been informed of the tragic accident that took place in Argentina involving some of his family members,” said the spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi. “He is deeply hurt.

“He asks to all of those who participate in his sorrow to be with him in prayers.”

Pope Francis, the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio, served the Roman Catholic Church in Argentina for 43 years, including 15 years as archbishop of Buenos Aires. He succeeded Pope Benedict XVI as leader of the church in March 2013.

The 77-year-old pontiff recently visited South Korea — the first papal visit to the country in 25 years.

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CNN’s Jason Hanna and Elwyn Lopez reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Hada Messia contributed to this report from Rome.

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