A populist, foreign, anti-Catholic pope and, above all, anti-Spanish. The thesis that, for years, have been defended by the most ultra-conservative and immobile sectors of the Catholic Church, and that they use shamelessly to attack Francis, has gone beyond the field of religion to enter deeply into the political field, at the expense of a supposed request of pardon of Bergoglio by the conquest of America.
Ayuso tries to confront the Pope from Washington and ends up clashing with the Spanish bishops
“At this point there is little doubt about the scant sympathy that Pope Francis has for Spain. I am convinced that the Holy Spirit was confused and the cardinals chose a catastrophic candidate,” its director – and a recognized Catholic – wrote this Thursday in La Razón. , Francisco Marhuenda, in an article entitled ‘An anti-Spanish Pope’ and in which he accused Francisco that “instead of being on the fringes of polemics, he likes to splash in the mud of false progressivism of that sectarian and fanatical Ibero-American left so loved by Podemos and the anti-system “.
That is just one example of the many criticisms that, from the Catholic right, have been launched against the short letter (“It is just a page,” said the spokesman for the Episcopal Conference, Luis Argüello, who was “perplexed” on Thursday. before the controversy) of the Pope before the bicentennial of the independence of Mexico. Of all the leaders of the media right, only Carlos Herrera has defended Bergoglio from the microphones of the COPE: he attacked the “permanently offended” pointing out that “Francisco did not apologize for the conquest of the Spanish. He apologized if it was considered that the Church committed certain irregularities 500 years ago. This had already been said by John Paul II. He has not said anything new. Hanging out with Francisco, who you really want to do, simply to calm things down is exaggerated. ” In the leadership of the chain of bishops they view these observations with reservations: “Since he interviewed Bergoglio, Herrera has changed, he has almost ‘converted’ to Francisco,” some sources point out.
However, the main volleys against the Pope have come from the political extreme right. First, the spokesperson for Vox, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, stressed: “I don’t really understand what a pope of Argentine nationality is doing apologizing on behalf of others.” Later, the president of the Community of Madrid, on a tour of the United States, emphasized: “It surprises me that a Catholic who speaks Spanish speaks like this in turn of a legacy like ours, which was to bring Spanish precisely and, through the missions, the Catholicism and therefore the civilization and the freedom to the American continent. Little more I can say “. Also the former president José María Aznar wanted to intervene in the diatribe: “I’m not going to ask for forgiveness,” he settled.
In the Spanish Church the criticisms of Vox do not worry too much. “It is not the first time that the Pope has been attacked,” recalls a bishop, who stresses that “Abascal already described him as ‘Citizen Bergoglio’ a year ago, in the failed motion of censure, and on many occasions they have made it clear that He is not his Pope. ” As for Aznar, the bishops downplay his intervention, which they attribute to the “sin of the holder” and maintain, privately and not without some sarcasm, that “it is very similar to ‘Who has told you the glasses of wine that I have or do not have to drink “that the former president said in his day.
On the other hand, they have been more “perplexed” by the harshness of President Isabel Díaz Ayuso, once a staunch defender of the freedom of the Church, and who despite her personal estrangement from the Church announced that she would go to mass again (now the bulls) in response to the “persecution” of the Socialist Government of Christians during the state of alarm.
“I would ask you to read the letter,” stressed yesterday the spokesman for the Episcopal Conference. “I want to believe that these manifestations have been made from an elaborate headline, without having read the document. I encourage you to read it, it could be on a page,” added Argüello, who explained that it is “a document that is addressed to the Church. from Mexico, to Mexico, because it celebrates 200 years of its independence. Outside of that context, the document is not understood. ”
A visit in doubt
Is there behind a strategy of the extreme right to attack this Pope? The bishop did not want to “make judgments from newspaper headlines,” but he did insist that “these statements could have been made without reading the entire letter.” “That this responds to a strategy that we like this pope more or less? I don’t want to go in,” the spokesman concluded.
However, among the episcopate there is some concern about the fact that the PP is joining the ‘anti Bergoglio’ sector. For Pablo Casado to be at Aznar’s side, and for him to accept his criticism of the Pope – “Hispanity has to make us proud despite that black legend of the culture of cancellation, of that current stupidity with historical revisionism,” said the leader. of the PP – is something “to take into account”, points out an ecclesiastical official. Especially now that Francisco’s visit to Galicia is about to be decided.
“Will the Pope come to a Spain where the politicians most linked to the Catholic world are making it clear that they do not love him?” Asks a PP leader, concerned that the ‘anti Bergoglio’ wave uncovered by Ayuso affects the papal trip to the tomb of Santiago, in which Alberto Núñez Feijóo has been personally involved. A Feijóo who, by the way, has read the Pope’s letter and does not see any controversy, they point out from the Compostela Church.
From the Vatican, unofficial sources downplay the controversy, clarify that Francis was referring “solely and exclusively” to the bicentennial of Mexico, not to the conquest, and in any case they remember that the Pope’s words are “similar or even more soft “than those pronounced by John Paul II or Benedict XVI.
Words and Background
And, what did Francisco really say? This: “To strengthen the roots, it is necessary to re-read the past, taking into account both the lights and the shadows that have shaped the history of the country. This retrospective look necessarily includes a process of purification of memory, that is, to recognize the mistakes made in the past, which have been very painful. That is why, on various occasions, both my predecessors and myself have asked forgiveness for personal and social sins, for all actions or omissions that did not contribute to evangelization. ” No mention of Spain, the Crown or the colonizers. A purely pastoral expression and referring to evangelization. Which, certainly, was carried out in its vast majority by Spaniards.
However, Bergoglio had already spoken about the issue in 2015 during a meeting with Popular Movements in Bolivia, being much clearer than in the letter to López Obrador. “Many serious sins have been committed against the native peoples of America in the name of God,” he said then.
No champion of freedom was heard then meddling with the Pope. Nor when both John Paul II and Benedict XVI spoke similar words. In 1992, during a trip to the Dominican Republic, the Polish Pope asked himself “how could he forget in this V Centenary the enormous suffering inflicted on the inhabitants of this continent during the time of conquest and colonization?”
In 2007, Ratzinger also went so far as to point out that “certainly the memory of a glorious past cannot ignore the shadows that accompanied the work of evangelization of the Latin American continent: it is not possible to forget the sufferings and injustices that the colonizers inflicted on the indigenous populations, often trampled on their fundamental human rights. ” Then there was no controversy between the Catholic right either. Maybe because Bergoglio is of Latin American origin? Maybe because Francisco Marhuenda’s reasoning is the one that prevails among the most ultra sectors of the PP and in Vox: the Holy Spirit was wrong and this is not ‘our’ Pope. An ‘anti-Spanish’ Pope.
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