The stones on which the Obelisco is elevated, the symbol of the city of Buenos Aires, were placed in 1936. That same year, Jorge Bergoglio, Pope Francis I, was born in the district of Flores, to the west of the city. He grew in that Buenos Aires of old with two great passions; the tango golden era and the popular soccer passion of the people.
Pope Francis’ women
General Peron ruled Argentina when Pope Francis, hardly 12 years of age, proposed to Amalia, an attractive youngster friend. The now smiling old lady shared her story with almost all the Argentine media that the romantic boy gave her a drawing with a small house and a note of promise: “This small house is the one that I am going to buy you when we get married. If we don’t get married, I’ll become a priest.” Amalia never answered that proposal, but the young Bergoglio demonstrated his natural determination and conviction. Some years later, when he was 21-years-old, he entered the seminary.
Camila is a lefty militant, atheist and feminist. She fights for women’s rights and reproductive rights and defends the right of women to a legal abortion. Still, she is a dear friend of Pope Francis who warmly nicknamed her the “troska of God”. Camila is very proud of the great respect that she and the new pope profess to each other, from their diametrically opposed positions.
Maria Elena Bergoglio, the pope’s younger sister, revealed that her brother did, in fact, not want to be Pope, as he considered his chance already having passed for two reasons: In the voting of year 2005, he was second after Pope Benedicto XVI and because he had recently turned 75 years-old. Bergoglio was so certain about not becoming Pope that he told Maria Elena his passage to Rome was a roundtrip. The woman explained that she was sorry not to have been able to communicate with her brother even to congratulate him after the announcement. “When you stop calling me and my telephone is no longer occupied, I will do it!” she joked and concluded, “to have a brother Pope is a God blessing.”
The appointment of Cardinal Bergoglio as pope caused confusion first and then disdain among different Argentine government spokesmen. On the very same day as Pope Francis’ appointment, diverse notes were published that indicated suspicions of collaboration between military dictatorship. There were even faked photos circling social media in which Bergoglio was supposedly blessing the ex-general Videla. In just a few short hours, diverse personalities of different political affiliation denied such accusations. Among them, the Nobel Peace prize winner, Perez Esquivel and the former member of the Conadep Graciela, Fernandez Meijide.
Future as an idol
Pope Francis retired his luggage this morning from the House of the Clergy, in via Della Scrofa, and, “he paid the account to give good example,” said Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, in his daily meeting with the journalists.
The new pope speaks Spanish and also Italian, as we heard yesterday, German, English and French, and perhaps also Portuguese. Interestingly, the new Pontiff made a phone call, after being chosen, to former Pope Benedicto XVI.
From his past as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francisco always had strong opinions and phrases jeopardized with respect to the different aspects of the political and social reality of Argentina. Subjects like the Tragedy of Once, abortion, gay marriage and drug trafficking were part of his homilies directed to the masses that he gave in the Buenosairean Cathedral.
These are some of the more forceful phrases:
- “Human rights are violated not only by terrorism or repression, but also by extreme poverty.”
- “Gay marriage is one devil action.”
- “You can see death sold at the doors of the schools” (talking about drugs)
- “Abortion is never is a solution. We must accompany and understand in order to save the two lives.”
- “There are irresponsible people in charge who did not fulfill their duties.” (Tragedy of Once)
- “God forgive them for what they just did.” (referring to the cardinals who chose him Pope)
- “They came to look for a Pope from the aim of the world”
Pope Francis is Argentine and the Argentineans know very well how to deify their idols. In this case, that is redundant, of course, but already they have found a higher step on the Argentinity podium. It happened today that Pope Francis’s San Lorenzo’s member card (the football team which the Pope is fan of) was the winner in a lottery drawing, and with the rejoicing of many, Francis was chosen as pope the day of Santa Cristina… perhaps destiny is being especially ironic in this case. There are already Pope Francis T-shirts and souvenirs and it would not be unimaginable that tomorrow we might find Pope Francis seated to the right… of Maradona.