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Pope to Bolivian President: "I didnt' know"

9. juli 2015  - opdateret 11.  juli 2015

'Rome Reports' skriver ifm videoen.:

Just moments after the Pope arrived in Bolivia, the country's president,  Evo Morales, gave the Pope a crucifix tied to a hammer and sickle, which is the Communist symbol uniting labor and peasants. 

The Pope was not amused, and he let the president know about it, by saying 'That's not right' in Spanish. 

Kilde <her>

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Alvaro de Juana and Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News, skriver bl.a.:

At a July 9 press briefing the Holy See press officer, Fr. Federico Lombardi, noted the lack of clarity in the audio of the exchange, and remarked that Pope Francis had been unaware the crucifix was a replica of Fr. Espinal's.

He also claimed that Fr. Espinal's use of it was not ideological but expressed a hope for dialogue between communism and the Church, adding that Pope Francis' remark likely expresed a sentiment of “I didnt' know”, rather than “This is not right.”

Morales' gift has sparked a worldwide controversy, and reactions were not long in coming. The majority of them accuse Morales of trying to politicize the Pope's visit.

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Nicole Winfield, AP, skriver bl.a.:

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia — Bolivian President Evo Morales‘ controversial gift of a “Communist crucifix” to Pope Francis threatened to overshadow the pope’s visit to Bolivia on Thursday, with the Vatican and Bolivia both insisting that no offense was intended or taken.

Morales gave Francis the crucifix carved into a hammer and sickle upon Francis’ arrival in Bolivia Wednesday, immediately raising eyebrows given Morales’ past attacks on the church and his socialist bent.

It turns out, the crucifix was originally designed by a Jesuit activist, the Rev. Luis Espinal, who was assassinated in 1980 by suspected paramilitaries during the months that preceded a military coup. Francis, a fellow Jesuit, stopped his motorcade to pray at the site where Espinal’s body had been dumped.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Thursday the pope had no idea that Espinal had designed the crucifix and was surprised to receive it — a reaction clearly visible in the footage of the encounter. Some reports suggested the pope told Morales “This isn’t good;” one of Francis’ friends sent a tweet quoting him as saying such. But Lombardi said it wasn’t known what the pope had said.

A Vatican television camera was present but, as Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters, the audio is almost impossible understand.

At least one media outlet reported the pope saying, “That’s not right,” (“No esta bien eso”) but several others said the pope, who was speaking Spanish, responded, “I didn’t know that” (“Eso no lo sabia”) when Morales explained the cross was based on a design by Father Espinal.

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John L. Allen Jr., Crux, skriver bl.a.:

Bolivia’s propaganda coup with papal visit may be short-lived

It was always in the stars that this week’s encounter between Pope Francis and Bolivia’s Evo Morales, more or less the successor to Hugo Chavez as Latin America’s most notorious anti-Western populist, would be interesting. Their get-together Wednesday in La Paz, the Bolivian capital, certainly delivered.

Thursday morning I was awakened by an urgent phone call from a Chilean journalist seeking reaction to perceptions that the Bolivian government won a diplomatic and PR breakthrough because the pontiff called for dialogue on a border dispute between the two nations.

Picking up on some Catholic grumbling, he also wanted to know why the pontiff allowed Morales to present him with an image of the crucified Christ featuring the Communist hammer and sickle. Morales also gave the pope a book detailing Bolivian outrage over Chile’s closure of its access to the sea after a 19th century war.

Two observations are in order.

First, it’s hard to blame either of these episodes on the pope or the Vatican in terms of potentially damaging spin.

In terms of the border dispute, Francis didn’t take sides. Instead, he called for dialogue “in order to avoid conflicts between sister peoples … Instead of raising walls, we need to be building bridges.”

It’s hard to imagine a comment less partisan than that. Granted, Bolivia may claim a win because Chile’s long-standing position is that there’s nothing to talk about, but one can’t expect a pope to favor anything other than dialogue facing a conflict situation.

In terms of the gifts, the Vatican cannot control what another head of state gives the pope.

Had the Bolivians done the courtesy of consulting Vatican officials beforehand about what the pope might like, it’s difficult to imagine a Communist Christ would have been high on the wish list.

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This morning Francis lay the two presidential honours he received Wednesday from President Evo Morales in La Paz, at the feet of Our Lady of Copacabana. One of these featured the hammer and anvil with a carving of a crucifix

ANDREA TORNIELLI, Vaticaninsider, skriver bl.a.:


Before leaving Bolivia, Francis placed two gifts he received on Wednesday from President Evo Morales at the foot of a statue of Mary. One of these, a chain with a chunky medallion, had the figure of the crucified Christ carved into a wooden hammer and anvil. This image had been drawn by Fr. Luis Espinal, the Jesuit priest who was assassinated in Bolivia in March 1980.

“This morning,” reads a statement issued by Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, “Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in the chapel of the private residence of the Archbishop Emeritus of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, the Holy Father presented two decorative honours that were conferred onto him by Bolivian president Evo Morales during his courtesy visit to the Presidential palace in La Paz , to a statue of the Our Lady of Copacabana, patron saint of Bolivia.”

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Tema: Pave Frans i Sydamerika <her>