Tuesday, November 21, 2023



Press Title:

Precedents for Argentina’s rebuke to the Pope are hard to find


Frankly, if a group of church affairs junkies were to sit down in a bar and try to sketch a ticket on a cocktail napkin that would amount to a rejection tout court of a sitting pope’s agenda, it’s doubtful they could have come up with anything more vivid than what actually happened.

Milei and Villarruel didn’t just squeak by, either. They won 56 percent of the vote, in one of the largest margins of victory in Argentina’s recent political history, despite the fact that many Argentine Catholics, especially the corps of “slum priests” favored by Francis, actively campaigned against them.

Consider the irony: Francis is an avowed populist, who’s repeatedly insisted that leaders should take their cues from the people. In this instance, however, it would seem his own people didn’t take their cues from him.

Have we ever seen a situation before in which a pope’s home country delivered quite such a stinging rebuke in a democratic election?

There are a few scattered examples that come to mind, though none quite on-point.


monkmcg said...

I find it difficult to understand why so many are interpreting this election in terms of the Pope. It is not as though he had any affinity for his home country or they for him. From everything I have read it was socialism v. nationalism - if anything sticking it to Frankie was a cherry on top. My guess is that most folks don't even give him much thought anymore.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Monk, what you write is what is unprecedented especially for the first South American/Argentinian pope. It highlights what a polarizing figure Bergoglio was and is—far from the bridge builder that popes are named to be, “pontiff.” He has brought this polarization to the entire Church as pope.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

monk- I agree with your point. Suggesting that the Argentinian election has anything to do with "polarization" in the Church or with the Pope's influence one way or another is just a lot of nay-sayers finding ANYTHING they can to paint the Holy Father in a negative light.

What's next? Blaming a bad apple harvest in Germany on the pope? Is the "polarization" in the Church causing magma flows under Grindavík in Iceland? Are Catholics giving less in their parish offertories due to some "Bergolio Effect?"

It's rather silly if you ask me...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

What's next? Blaming a bad apple harvest in Germany on the pope? Is the "polarization" in the Church causing magma flows under Grindavík in Iceland? Are Catholics giving less in their parish offertories due to some "Bergolio Effect?"

Don’t be silly! That part is to be blamed on Biden!

Mark Thomas said...

Actually, it is Javier Milei who has repudiated his image as a vicious anti-Pope Francis insult artist.

Now, in regard to one analysis after another of the presidential election results that have flowed from Argentina: It is clear that Javier Milei's election has served to repudiate his country's economic policies, rather than Pope Francis.

People voted in their perceived financial interests.

In fact, two months ago, Javier Milei had apologized for, then walked back, his attacks against His Holiness, Pope Francis. Milei had faced a backlash from Catholics in regard the negative comments that he had hurled at Pope Francis.

Milei realized that his insults in question had heaped negative publicity upon his presidential campaign negatively.

From The Pillar:

"Facing pressure from the priests, among others, in a September presidential debate Milei heaped on apologies for the remarks, aiming to walk them back.

“I have no problem repeating that I am sorry,” he said.


Javier Milei had repudiate his former incarnation as a vicious anti-Pope Francis insult artist. Instead, Milei had transformed himself into a man who, should Pope Francis visit Argentina, would treat Pope Francis honorably.
From: The Pillar. Javier Milei declared:

"If [Francis] wants to come [to Argentina], he will be respected not only as head of state but as leader of the Catholic Church,” he added."


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

"The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, confirmed on Tuesday evening that Pope Francis has spoken by phone with Javier Milei."

La Nacion reported:

"The conversation was “pleasant,” as described by libertarian sources, and lasted around eight minutes, during which Milei addressed the Supreme Pontiff as “Your Holiness.”

"Javier Milei invited the Pope to Argentina;"


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

From Reuters:

-- From 'imbecile' to 'Your Holiness' - Argentina's Milei changes tone on Pope Francis


Mark Thomas

Sophia said...

Sophia here: Dear Father McDonald. Your response at 12:17 P.M.
"Don’t be silly! That part is to be blamed on Biden!", is priceless!

For everyone commenting here and to the much greater number who read this blog:
May you all have a Thanksgiving filled with a long list of Blessings for which to be grateful!

Mark Thomas said...

Another among the countless fake news stories/narratives aimed at Pope Francis has collapsed. The current nonsense, that Javier Milei's election as Argentina's president proved that big, bad, Bergoglio is an horrific, polarizing Pope, lasted just a few hours.

But certain misrepresentations of Pope Francis have carried on for years. Certain folks continue to misrepresent Pope Francis' "who am I to judge" statement.

There are folks who actually believe such long-ago debunked nonsense as "carnival time is over," and "It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church."

But it is a given that it won't be long until the next anti-Pope Francis fake news story arrives.


Mark Thomas

rcg said...

Milei made a repudiation of Pope Francis at least a part of his campaign. It was rejection of the Pope’s positions, not as much the Pope that resonated with Argentinians who seem to have associated those ideas and views with failed governments in their past. Associating this Pope with those policies is not a big stretch since he exhibits world views and preferences along lines traceable to the political past of Argentina. Unfortunately, he may remain the poster child for those views, deservedly or not.