A little tempest has been stirred around the “gifts” (aka traps) that Bolivian Pres. Morales gave to Pope Francis during his 4 hour stop in La Paz.
Morales, a socialist who dedicated his last election to Chavez and Castro, gave the Pope a “crucifix” in the form of a hammer and sickle as well as a small pectoral “cross” with the same design.
Check the ACI*version of the story in Spanish. HERE
Gifts at these meetings of heads of state are worked out ahead of time. So what gives with this?
Alas, the Pope put on the damn pectoral “cross” thing, which is a little hard to understand. I have a theory about that, below, but only apersistent grilling of Fr. Lombardi has the potential of producing the*authentic explanation.
In any event, and this is what we have to pay attention to, when the Pope saw the “crucifix” (much larger than the little pectoral “cross”) he said,*“No está bien eso… That’s not right.”
The conservative/traditional element are predictably blowing arteries at the sight of the Pope with these … things. I, too, am disturbed. After all, the hammer and sickle is a symbol ofextermination of both human dignity and human beings numbering in tensof millions. *It is a symbol of oppression and degradation of *billions**that by far outstrips the swastika.
Some will counter, “But Father! But Father! The connection those noble yet humble proletariat*crosses of mercy have with the Jesuit priest who was killed in the 1970s outweighs the …!” Blah blah blah.
Can you imagine anyone daring to putsomething like theseinto the hands of St. John Paul II?
Times have changed.
Look at the photos and the video. Francisis clearly unhappy when he saw the large version of what was on the smaller pectoral “cross”.
Could this have been*a Pres. Bartlett moment, like the one with the flag of Taiwan? *In The West Wing, Bartlett mistakenly accepts a controversial Taiwanese flag which stirs a hornet’s nest with the PRC on the eve of a state visit. Bartlettdidn’t see the flag (why is another, not relevant, issue). *In this present Bolivian case, Francis might not have noticed the symbol on the small pectoral “cross”, but he reacts sharply – negatively – when he sees the larger version in wood.
I think that Morales move was sheer manipulation and political theater for his commie base in Bolivia. it was a trap set for Francis to score points. Franciswas polite in accepting this*“gift/trap”, much as would*a kind grandfather when given an inappropriate gift by an errant grandson.
I suspect that we haven’t heard the end of this one. *In the meantime, keep your cool and wait for additional information.
The moderation queue is ON.
And, warning, keep*the knuckle-head stuff and spittle-flecked nutties out of my combox. *If you want to rave, go over to the Fishwrap where they have no charity or reason filters.