…lives in the Vatican.
That’s right: the Pope is Latin American, but he is a Pope. That is, we can’t make a party of it. It does not matter if he is Argentine, Lebanese, or Italian. He represents the Catholic Church, its statutes, its preachments, its actual placing in contemporary politics. We can’t ask him for anything else.
In fact, any symbolically unusual attribute or to the left of Jorge Bergoglio is simply a stroke of cunning. He has been chosen to change an image, to wash the stains of a
threatened institution. Bergoglio is not only Argentinean, or the first Latin American pope. He is also a Jesuit. Being Jesuit does not mean that he supports the Theology of Liberation. B eing Argentine does not mean that he is going to help our mainland or that he belongs to the Third World.
That is still a fundamental error. Believing that a particular man assumes beforehand the characteristics of the circles which he belongs to, it is like believing that all millionaires are bad, that all poor people are good, and that all poets are sensitive.
A worker- Lukacs brings that idea to Marxism-is not a revolutionary just because he brandishes a hammer in his hand. A bourgeois is not a pariah just because he was born in golden cradle.
Although such a statement proves us wrong, because then all Popes would not be demagogues, but as long as a millionaire, a poor man and a poet can walk on their own and assume the roles they want, from a gentleman to a scoundrel, the Pope, in turn, represents an institution, he is like a diplomatic or a politician.
Within all the paraphernalia for the election of Bishop of Rome I only agree with the name change. Politicians and diplomats should do that too. As well as taking a position, they should change their name, so that the rest of us can make a difference, a prior and after. Thus we might judge them as individuals and also as representatives of something else: a country, an ancient institution, an NGO, a CDR (Committee for the Defense of the Revolution), whatever.
Can you imagine that? Let us take the case of a myth, not to create bad feelings. When Bolivar freed his slaves , he does it on his own, but when he organizes the congress of the Gran Colombia and that congress does not recognize the direct abolition of slavery, then Bolívar is not just Bolívar. Bolivar is a President: with strategies, concessions, postpositions, resignations.
Bergoglio, invested as Francis I, will be a spokesman. What did you expect? Do you think he will support abortion? Do you think he will support gay marriage? Do not ask him that. Ask him to do what he should do. Well, the result is even worse. Bergoglio carries unconcealed sins.
He did not rape anyone, he did not abuse any kid, but-let’s just take a look- he maintained questionable ties with Videla´s dictatorship and gave away two priests due to their clandestine activities. Two priests who were tortured in the gloomy Mechanics School Navy (ESMA, in Spanish). Everyone has a dark past, but the Popes´ past is darker than others.
I’ve heard that a good representative, even for Latin Americans, would have been Sean O’Malley. Do you know from where is Sean O’Malley? He is American with Irish ancestors; he is on charge of the Diocese of Boston. So let us spare chauvinism, this
Argentinean will possibly bring more entanglements. He is a rotten wedge in the middle of the cake, placed by hand to blow up.
No matter he has chosen a wooden crucifix, not a golden one. No matter that he is fairly ascetic. No matter he has decided to pay tribute to one of the more uncomfortable saints for power: Saint Francis of Assisi.
By the way, there is a poem by Ruben Dario; it is more a fable without moral, where Saint Francis appears in his work of reconciliation.
It is a magnificent and thrilling poem –Dario is not always thrilling- that tells how the saint goes to the mountain and convinces to the Gubbia’s wolf to leave the region and to stop killing lambs and shepherds. The wolf explains the reasons for its sins, but finally agrees and lays down its arms before the oratory of the preacher, who, according to Dario, has “a heart of lily” and “a heavenly language “.
The wolf moves with Saint Francis to the convent, and there it meditates, listens to prayers, hides its maw, and appeases the devil living in it.
Everything is in order, until Saint Francis leaves the village and after a while, the wolf returns to the adventures. It takes refuge in the cliffs, and begins to bite and attack again and becomes unstoppable for hunters and expands terror. When Saint Francis returns, he goes to the wolf’s dwelling, and talks about its failure to keep its promise, its betrayal to God, but the wolf gives its reasons.
I will not tell you the wolf’s reasons, because you must read the poem, but I will say that I found them justified and I think it acted correctly. Establishing an analogy, there is one detail that urges to decipher. If in today’s fable, at least by name, Bergoglio is Saint Francis, what are the Latin Americans? The wolf or the shepherd?