Argentinians, the Government and Pope Francis

While the world was waiting for the result of the election of the new pope, Argentinians were hopeful a fellow countryman would become the pope. The white smoke at the Vatican announced the decision was made: the first jesuit and the first Argentinian pope, Jorge Bergoglio -now Francis- would become the maximum authority of the Catholic Church after Benedict XVI.

On Twitter, Argentinians spoke about it using different hashtags, like #Bergoglio, #HabemusPapam, #PrimerasPalabrasDelPapa [es] (Pope's first words), #LaBarraDelPapa [es] (Pope's fans), #FranciscoI [es], among others. The reactions have been diverse.

For many it was a surprise, like for @JessyDelPino [es] who said:

@JessyDelPino Q?? Me despierto y tenemos PAPA argentino! Pensaba q mi viejo me estaba cargando!!! #HabemusPapam #Bergoglio #Francisco1

@JessyDelPino: What?? I wake up and we have an Argentinian POPE! I thought my old-man was kidding me!!! #HabemusPapam #Bergoglio #Francisco1

Even non-believers like Lucero Aguirre (@LuuceroAguire) [es] shared their views:

Argentinos celebran elección de Papa Francisco I en Plaza de San Pedro

Argentinos celebrate the election of Pope Francis I at Saint Peter's Square in Roma. Picture shared on Twitter for @aciprensa

@LuuceroAguirre La verdad no lo puedo creer, no soy creyente, ni nada, pero es realmente un ORGULLO tener POR FIN a un Papa como tiene que ser! #Bergoglio

@LuuceroAguirre: The truth is I cannot believe it, I'm not a believer or anything, but it is really a PRIDE to FINALLY have a pope the way it has to be! #Bergoglio

In the blog Politics and Politicians [es] Rosa Alcántara re-published an article that talked about the tumultuous relationship between Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's government and the new pope. The former bishop and the head of state have had their differences on many issues, for example gay marriage [es]:

Una de las cuestiones en las que el cardenal Bergoglio se enfrentó al gobierno fue el proyecto de Ley de Matrimonio entre Personas del Mismo Sexo. El 9 de julio de 2010, días antes de su aprobación, se hizo pública una nota de Bergoglio calificando como una «guerra de Dios» dicho proyecto de matrimonio gay, que contemplaba que las personas homosexuales pudieran contraer matrimonio y adoptar niños.:

One of the issues that had Cardinal Bergoglio against the government was the Gay Marriage Law project. On July 9th, 2010, days before its approval, an open letter by Bergoglio said that gay marriage was a war against God which also contemplated the possibility of child adoption by gay couples.

Another clash happened during the May Revolution celebration, a national holiday that takes place every year and includes the traditional Tedeum at Buenos Aires’ Cathedral. In 2008, nonetheless, the Argentinian president decided to change the location. The blog Radio Cristiandad commented [es] (Radio Christianity) on this event:

Pese a que el gobierno cumplió con gestiones protocolares para el cambio, la decisión de llevarlo a Salta, donde se hará una oración interreligiosa, generó inquietud en sectores eclesiásticos. Gobierno dice que es para “federalizar” fiesta patria.

La presidenta Cristina Fernández de Kirchner también esquivará, como lo hizo su marido durante la presidencia, una homilía interpeladora del primado argentino, cardenal Jorge Bergoglio, durante el Tedeum por el 25 de Mayo.

Even though the government fulfilled the paperwork needed to change it, the decision to do it in Salta, where a multi-religion prayer will be held, generated anxiety among church groups. The government said it was to “federalize” the national holiday.

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will also ditch, as her late husband did during his presidency, a contesting homily from the Argentinian church leader, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, during the May 25th Tedeum.

Argentinians also remember that during the operation that former president Néstor Kirchner had in 2010, Kirchner's family prevented [es] Bergoglio's representative to administer the sacrament.

Others, like Gladys Lopreto in the blog Igualdad Dignidad [es] (Dignity Equality), criticized the reactions of the Argentinian Episcopate on issues like abortion.

Meanwhile, far from politics, many Argentinians celebrated the good news. Aracelli Crescimbeni (@aracellicres) [es] wrote:

@AracelliCres: Hasta en el #Vaticano se dieron cuenta que somos los mejores del mundo #OrgulloArgentino #Bergoglio

@AracelliCres:: Event the #Vaticano (Vatican) realized that we are the best of the world #OrgulloArgentino (Argentinian Pride) #Bergoglio

Chants have also emerged, like Miko's (@Emi_Eguiazu) [es] who celebrated that the new pope is Argentinian and not Brazilian, clearly referring to the football rivalry between the two countries:

@Emi_eguiazu: #LaBarraDelPapa che brasuca che brasuca qe amargado se te ve, nosotros tenemos al papa, vos qedate con pelé

@Emi_eguiazu#LaBarraDelPapa (Pope's fans) yo’ Brazilian, yo’ Brazilian, you seem so bitter, we have the pope, you can keep Pelé

As for the government's relationship with Bergoglio, Gabi (@GabiManducaa) [es] “chanted”:

@GabiManducaa: Che Cristina, che Cristina, que amargada se te ve, el papa no es kirchnerista, que carajo vas a hacer? #LaBarraDelPapa

@GabiManducaa:: Yo’ Cristina, yo’ Cristina, you seem so bitter, the pope is not kirchnerist, what the hell will you do? #LaBarraDelPapa

And others considered that Francis I could free them from their sins, like Julian (@MatilaFonte) [es] who tweeted:

@MatilaFonte: Che Bergolio, Che Bergolio, no te lo decimos maaas, este año pecamos todos, total vos nos perdonas ♫ #LaBarraDelPapa

@MatilaFonte: Yo’ Bergolio, yo’ Bergolio, we won't tell you more, this year everybody sins, anyway you'll forgive us #LaBarraDelPapa

On the other hand, president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner shared on her Twitter account (@CFKArgentina) [es] a note congratulating [es] his Sanctity Francis I.


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