Why does the Pope not want to return to Argentina?

The division that Francisco generates in his native country is the main reason

Why does the Pope not want to return to Argentina?

Leer en español: ¿Por qué el Papa no quiere volver a Argentina?

Like his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Pope Francis also stands out for traveling regularly to different parts of the world to carry out his message of faith. The fact of being the first Latin American Pope has led him to visit countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador, in which he has made clear the special connection that exists between him and Catholics.

However, many wonder what it is the reason why Jorge Bergoglio, pure Peronist, and confessed fan of San Lorenzo de Almagro, has not visited Buenos Aires since 2013, when he rushed to Rome to attend a conclave that would finally elect him as the maximum representative of the Catholic Church.

In the Argentine capital, Francisco left his family, close friends, and important political contacts, who travel to the Vatican to see him. Francis is a native of the popular district of Flores, and many residents still remember the hairdresser where he cut his hair or the kiosk where he bought the newspaper. Everyone wants the same thing: for Jorge to return even for a short visit.

It seems that there is always an excuse for the Pope to continue without returning his native land:

  • In 2013, Bergoglio was still taking office.
  • In 2014, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner still governed, with which Bergoglio had serious differences when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires.
  • In 2015, there were presidential elections.
  • In 2016, Mauricio Macri experienced very difficult moments with the economic crisis and social discontent.
  • In 2017, there were elections again, this time legislative.
  • What about 2018? What was the reason? In January, he visited Chile, and to get there from Rome it is necessary to fly over Argentina. Many compatriots considered an offense that Francisco had not made a stop in his homeland and among the population, it is speculated if he will never really come back.

It seems that the main obstacle to such a long-awaited visit are the differences between the Pontiff and President Macri. The Pope's approach to the opposition and leader of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Hebe de Bonafini, has caused that the supporters of the president -and anti-Peronists in general- do not hide their rejection to the Pope.

To all this we must add that in Argentina they have no problem in criticizing compatriots that in the rest of the world only cause admiration. A clear example is Lionel Messi, who generates passions and hatreds alike. In this sense, the Pope is not an exception.

For a part of society, Francisco is a politician who does not hesitate to criticize the President. The president for his part seems to have no interest because the Pontiff visit his country, because the trip has been three times on the agenda and has never materialized.

In his recent visit to Chile, the Pope refused to have a private audience with President Sebastián Piñera, a great ally of Macri. This decision deteriorated relations between both personalities.

Argentine Catholics still hope to see the Holy Father at home, but the possible re-election of Macri in 2019 and the advanced age of the Pope (81 years) do not seem good allies for that trip to be fulfilled.

 

Latin American Post | José María González
Translated from “ ¿Por qué el Papa no quiere volver a Argentina?”

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