Home World Meeting of Milei and Francisco in the Vatican, encounter between opposites

Meeting of Milei and Francisco in the Vatican, encounter between opposites

Meeting of Milei and Francisco in the Vatican, encounter between opposites

He Pope Francisco and that President Javier Milei They will see each other’s faces for the first time Vatican this Monday, in an appointment marked by the the ultra-liberal leader’s past attacks on the Pope and the difficult political context in his homeland Argentina. Milei will attend the canonization of the Virgin Mary in St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday morning. Blessed Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroaknown as Mama Antula (1730-1799), a defender of the Jesuit heritage and pioneer of human rights who would become the first Argentine saint.

The ceremony will be President Milei’s first opportunity to greet Francisco. Jesuit, Argentinian and former Archbishop of Buenos Aires. They will speak at length at a scheduled hearing the next day Holy See. The event will feature a meeting between two ideologically opposed leaders who have staged a rapprochement in recent weeks, including a phone call from the pope to the new president after his election victory.

One of the big questions scheduled for meetings on Sunday and Monday is whether Francis will visit his home country of Argentina this year, which he has not visited since being elected head of the Catholic Church in 2013. The other explosive question is the political environment in Argentina, where Milei’s mega package of deregulatory reforms was stopped this week in the lower house of Congress due to a lack of support.

From Israel, where he was visiting, the president reacted angrily, calling the lawmakers who did not support him a “group of criminals.”

“Political interference”

Milei invited Francisco to visit the country last month, declaring in a letter that his coming “will bring fruits of pacification and brotherhood of all Argentines willing to overcome divisions and confrontations.” The letter served as a public apology, following the insults Milei made against the Pope when he was an “idiot,” a “representative of evil” as a television panelist – and even during the election campaign, when he accused him of “political interference.”

Francisco himself addressed the issue in an interview with Mexican broadcaster Televisa in December, saying: “We have to make a strong distinction between what a politician says during the election campaign and what he will actually do afterwards.” Milei and Francisco are leaving from opposite positions, the first from ultra-liberalism and the second from the defense of the poorest and the protection of the environment.

But Sergio Rubin, the pope’s biographer and Argentine journalist, He sees a meeting point in the letter with which Milei invited Francisco to Argentina. In it, the president advocates protecting “our vulnerable compatriots” by implementing reforms that correct the economic trajectory of a country where inflation is above 200% and 40% of the population lives in poverty.

“I think those two things will be very present,” Rubin tells AFP: “the contribution to the unity of Argentines” in a polarized country, and “how adaptation affects those who have the least opportunity to ensure that the burden is shared fairly.” “It seems to me that the Pope will tell him to take care of the poor and try to create a less confrontational climate in Argentina.”emphasizes Rubin.

From Catholicism to Judaism

While in Italy, Milei also plans to meet with President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Monday. On his second foreign visit since taking office on December 10, Milei traveled from Israel to Rome, where he demonstrated his special harmony with Judaism. The Argentine leader, who grew up in a Catholic family, traveled there accompanied by Rabbi Axel Wahnish, his spiritual advisor and ambassador-designate to the State of Israel.

In Jerusalem, Milei emotionally prayed at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, often referred to by its Hebrew name, the Kotel, and announced his “plan” to move the Argentine embassy to the Holy City for the greater pleasure of hosting. However, he said a move was not currently being considered because, he said, there were “issues that would be incompatible with his current role,” such as mandatory Saturday rest.

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