Fr. Nnamdi Moneme: Cultivating a Docile Heart at AdventDecember 4, 2019
The Vatican’s China Syndrome, by Robert RoyalDecember 4, 2019
[The following text is the talk that Sandro Magister gave at the study conference held on Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1 in Anagni, in the Sala della Ragione, at the initiative of the Fondazione Magna Carta, on the theme: “To Cesar and to God. Church and politics in the pontificates of John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis.” Concluding with Magister’s reply at the end of the debate].].
THE POLITICAL VISION OF POPE FRANCIS
By Sandro Magister, L’Espresso, Anagni, November 30 2019
The political vision of Pope Francis has its roots above all in his life experience, in Argentina.
Precociously appointed novice master, the then 34-year-old Bergoglio completely espoused the cause of bringing back Juan Domingo Perón, who in those years was in exile in Madrid. He became the spiritual director of of the young Peronists of the Guardia de Hierro, who had a powerful presence at the Jesuit Universidad del Salvador. And he continued this militancy after his surprise appointment as provincial superior of the Jesuits of Argentina in 1973, the same year in which Perón returned to the country and won his triumphant reelection.
Bergoglio was among the writers of the “Modelo nacional,” the political testament that Perón wanted to leave after his death. And for all of this he drew the ferocious hostility of a good half of the Argentine Jesuits, more leftist than he, especially after he surrendered the Universidad del Salvador, which was put up for sale in order to stabilize the finances of the Society of Jesus, to none other than his friends of the Guardia de Hierro.
It was in those years that the future pope developed the “myth” – his word – of the people as protagonist of history. A word that by its nature is innocent and a bearer of innocence, a people with the innate right to “tierra, techo, trabajo” and that he sees as overlapping with the “santo pueblo fiel de Dios.”
THE “MYTH” OF THE PEOPLE
But in addition to his experience of life, Bergoglio’s political vision also took shape thanks to the instruction of a teacher, as he confided to the French sociologist Dominique Wolton in a book-length interview that Wolton also edited, entitled “Politique et societé,” released in 2017:
“There is a thinker that you should read: Rodolfo Kusch, a German who lived in northwestern Argentina, an excellent philosopher and anthropologist. He made one thing clear: that the word ‘people’ is not a logical word. It is a mythical word. It is not possible to speak of people logically, because that would mean making only a description. In order to understand a people, to understand what are the values of this people, one must enter into the spirit, into the heart, into the work, into the history, and into the myth of its tradition. This point is truly at the basis of the theology called ‘of the people.’ That is to say, to go with the people, see how it expresses itself. This distinction is important. The people is not a logical category, it is a mythical category.” ….