The Argentine president, Javier Milei, completed this Monday an astonishing reconciliation with Pope Francis, whom until recently he defined as “the evil one on Earth” and “friend of dictators.”
“I explained everything to him, he understood me perfectly,” he quoted Clarin to Milei after the 70-minute meeting at the Vatican.
That Milei spent 70 minutes meeting with Francisco is quite a fact: not even Cristina Kirchnerneither Mauricio Macrineither Alberto Fernndez They never had so much time in meetings with their compatriot, who next month will celebrate 11 years on the throne of Saint Peter.
Francisco had special interest in directing the relationship with the ultraliberal, surprising winner of the 2023 elections. Milei, in turn, made a notable turn: on Sunday, during the canonization of Mama Antula, gave a strong and unexpected hug to the 87-year-old Supreme Pontiff, and this Monday he seemed more relaxed. Sunday’s dialogue, captured on camera, was astonishing.
– “You cut your hair!” said the Pope.
– “I got busy. Can I give you a kiss?”
– “Yes, son, yes!”
Milei then pounced on the Pope, sitting in a wheelchair.
“It’s a pleasure to see you and thank you for coming, you who are half (Jew)“God bless you,” added the head of the Catholic Church.
Then, the Pope greeted the chancellor with a big smile and complicit gestures. Diana Mondino, reconciliation manager. MIlei, attentive, pointed out that it was necessary to have “a lot of grimace, given the harshness of the other side.”
“God is greater, Pray for me, I pray for you,” the Pope reacted.
Although no one later explained the phrase, it is understood, due to the tone between joking and autocratic in which Milei said it, that the Argentine president was referring to himself and his harsh attacks on the Pope.
This Monday, the audience was “very good, very friendly,” according to Vatican sources. The Nation.
“The man who is moved and humble to the point of submission before religious symbols and authorities is the same one who, with just a few minutes of distance, emits rays and diatribes through his eyes and mouth against anyone he considers a traitor, enemy or infidel,” he noted in the same document. the analyst Claudio Jacquelin newspaper.
According to several Argentine media, Milei presented in detail to the Pope his Government plan, and stopped at the new food distribution system for the poorest sectors of society, which is still not working properly. The 53-year-old president also reiterated his invitation for Francisco to visit Argentinaa country he has not visited since he was elected Pope in 2013. The visit could happen in the second half of this year.
Social and political crisis
“Throughout the talk, Milei and the Pope addressed a wide range of topics: the economic program, the social crisis facing Argentina and the climate of political tension that the country is going through,” he noted. Clarin.
Milei later met with Francis’ number two, the Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, and with the chancellor of the Vatican, the British archbishop Paul Gallagher. The Argentine president planned to meet this afternoon with the Italian president, Sergio Mattarellaand the prime minister, Giorgia Meloini.
In an official statement, the Vatican presented the meeting in a very positive way: “During the cordial conversations at the Secretariat of State, satisfaction was expressed for the good relations between the Holy See and the Argentine Republic and the desire to strengthen them even further. A They then focused on the new Government’s program to confront the economic crisis and addressed several international issues, particularly current conflicts and the commitment to peace of the nations.”
Milei gave several gifts to the Pope: a folder with a copy of the chancellor’s handwritten letter Jose Mara Gutirrez crediting Juan Bautista Alberdi as representative in Europe in 1854, a painting with the commemorative postcard of Mama Antula that the Argentine Postal Service distributed on the occasion of her beatification and dulce de leche alfajores and lemon cookiesFrancisco’s favorites.