That’s right people. From now on the Catholic church’s representative of God will be drinking mate, giving communion with Malbec and cheering for Argentina in the 2014 World Cup… Goooooool!
What do Argentines think?
Argentines are pretty proud of themselves. The announcement of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a.k.a Papa Francisco, was met with Pope cheers, Pope posters, Pope flags and Pope World Cup memes.
In a country where people make the cross passing churches on crowded public buses, there are more than a few devote Catholics.
Fun Fact: Until 1994 the Argentine Constitution required the President to be a Roman Catholic.
Or are they?
Many seem to be skeptical about what an Argentine Pope means and are cynical about the new Pope’s inaction during the dictatorship in Argentina (1973 – 1986). This is particularly notable in Kirchernistas, or supporters of President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner.
The Roman Catholic Church is iconic with the old power structures (remember colonialism?) and Cristina Kirchner is very much the embodiment of the new independent Latin American populist politician (see: Chavez).
While it remains to be seen if/how this tension plays outs, one thing is for sure, not even Crisitina would miss out on such a political golden moment.