Archive for the ‘Catholic Church’ Category
A few days ago an Italian priest gifted Pope Francis a popemobile that is a lot like him: frugal, clad in white and with a fair bit of mileage. The Pope will use it for getting around the Vatican, which tells me a couple of things:
- Popes get parking privileges
- Francis likes stick shift
- The little car looks like fun
- He runs his own errands.
Following the news of the Pope’s new wheels (which, at 186,000 miles goes beyond “certified pre-owned”), the Buenos Aires-based Argentina Renault 4 Motor Club has granted Pope Francis a lifetime membership, since Pope Francis owned a green Renault 4 back in the day.
Here’s a YouTube of the club’s loyal fans meeting in the cold rain to show off their “roadrunners”, as they call their cars,
I can’t wait to see photos of the Pope washing the car when he needs to think.
Cristina Fernández, who’s up for re-election in October, 2015 but desperately needs a legislative majority, is using a photo of herself and candidate Martín Insaurralde (who she hopes will be her majority leader) taken with Pope Francis:
The poster reads, “Don’t be downcast; don’t let go of hope.”
When I was in Buenos aires the week Nestor Kirchner died, leaving Cristina as widow and president, the posters of him and Cristina popped up immediately, on every subway car and station, and on every corner of the city, even in the suburb where I was staying.
Apparently the Pope photo-op is now everywhere. Cristina claims it’s not a campaign ad.
The photo was taken last week during the Pope’s visit to Brazil, which was a resounding success. Pope Francis was meeting the heads of state that came to Mass.
The Pope, who is hugely popular in Argentina (tango included), was, during his tenure as Cardinal in Buenos Aires, a big critic of the Kirchners, but now, with the poster prominently papering every public surface, Cristina’s making look like the Pope’s on her side.
No, not maggot Anthony Weiner (with apologies to any soft limbless larva of dipterous insects who may be reading this blog). The catchy headline is not from a Star Trek movie, but from another trek . . . to Peru,
A British woman returned from a holiday in Peru hearing scratching noises inside her head to be told she was being attacked by flesh-eating maggots living inside her ear.
Now that I have your attention, here’s the news from our hemisphere:
Sure this is the real thing? GREEN Coke launched in Argentina with natural sweetener and fully recyclable bottle
Evo says the continent must cease to depend on foreign companies for its large-scale industrial projects: Bolivia’s Morales Calls for South America’s “Technological Liberation”
Colombia civil conflict has killed ‘nearly a quarter of a million’: study
Almost a quarter of a million Colombians have been killed in the country’s bloody half-century conflict, most of them civilians, a government-funded report revealed on Wednesday, providing fresh evidence of the vast scale of human rights violations since hostilities began.
Costa Rica Aims for Zoos without Cages. [Insert NJ Turnpike joke here]
Chevron’s latest headache in $19 billion lawsuit
A federal appeals court is weighing a sixth attempt by representatives of the Amazon Defense Front to toss the judge hearing the oil giant’s RICO case.
WSJ letter to the editor: Mexico Needs Big Oil-Policy Change
Pemex’s freedom of maneuver has been held hostage for a half-century by a national narrative that misunderstands the global dynamic of the oil industry
In Venezuela, the only fully-stocked supermarket belongs to the government: Caracas’s only fully-stocked supermarket and its one-in one-out policy
Demand at Caracas’s only fully-stocked supermarket – the government-run Bicentenario – is so high that it is now operating a “one-in, one-out” policy.
The week’s posts:
Brazil: 3 million expected at Copacabana today
Hundreds of thousands of youths camped out on Copacabana beach ahead of Pope Francis’ final mass for World Youth Day. The mayor of Rio de Janeiro estimated that some three million people would turn up for Sunday mass. Photo: Associated Press.
Including some Americans:
While mishaps at a papal event are raising doubts about Rio de Janeiro hosting the upcoming Olympics and the World Cup, this, Pope Francis’s first visit to our hemisphere, has shown him relating to the huge crowds on their terms.
Didn’t take long! Tango “Francisco”, about and in honor of Pope Francis I:
Meanwhile, his security detail is struggling to figure out how to keep the pontiff safe:
Today he celebrated Mass at the shrine of the Virgin of Aparecida, in front of a huge crowd gathered for World Youth Day.
WRONG TURN PUTS POPE IN FRENZIED CROWD...
Forced into helicopter...
RIO COPS FIRE TEAR GAS, WATER CANNONS AT PROTESTERS...
Security struggles to hold back crowds...
Fury Rises in Brazil, Home of the $30 Pizza...
The protestors were out last night,
Going in the Fiat wasn’t such a good idea – nice thought, but very dangerous.
Cuban dissident Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White, was able to exchange greetings with Pope Francis yesterday at the end of a general audience held in St. Peter’s Square
Soler handed the pope two letters from the wives of political prisoners, according to the French news agency AFP. Soler later told the media that the pope had given her a blessing and asked her to continue her fight.
Carlos Eire points out that
It may seem like an insignificant encounter to some, but this is a big deal, and the rulers of the Castro Kingdom will gnash their teeth when they see this photo. The Cuban flag draped between the two figures in white will be a great irritant to the tyrants, because they refuse to accept the fact that Cuba belongs to all Cubans, not just to their slave-drivers and those slaves who agree to submit to the lash. .
So, even though this was a brief encounter, it delivers a potent message.
It’s definitely an improvement over the prior pope’s refusal to meet them while he was in Cuba.
Andres Oppenheimer writes on how the Argentine president may be hurt by “Francismania”
Finally, a third group of political analysts believes the “Francis effect” will hurt the Fernández government, because the pope’s messages against authoritarianism, intolerance, and hubris will be read by most Argentines as indirect criticisms of Fernández.
“A clash is inevitable, and the clash will end up hurting Cristina,” says Jaime Duran Barba, an Ecuadorean pollster who advises opposition leaders here.
My opinion: Despite Fernández’s last minute turn to embrace “Francismania,” the pope’s emergence as the most popular figure in Argentina will end up hurting her.
Granted, Pope Francis will most likely not make any political statements about Argentine politics. He is expected to make his first visit to Argentina as pope in December — after the October mid-term elections — so as not to interfere with local politics.
But in his homilies during his first Latin American visit to Brazil this coming July, his frequent criticism of autocratic measures, political arrogance and hubris will inevitably be read by many here as indirect barbs at the president.
At the very least, “Francismania” will have a dampening effect on Fernández’s ability to circumvent the rules of good democratic behavior — and civility — to get reelected at any cost.
As Drudge says, “developing…”
Imprisoned priest Francisco Jalics breaks silence over Pope Francis, clearing him for involvement in ‘Dirty War’
Jalics had been silent for years in a German monastery. He once thought then-Cardinal Bergoglio played a role in his arrest
Making nice? Argentina’s Kirchner and Pope Francis meet in Rome (+video)
Beneath the cordial meeting today between new Pope Francis and President Kirchner lies a rocky and strained relationship that stretches back to 2004.
[Additional video below the fold]
Wave of prawn deaths baffles Chile city of Coronel
Thousands of dead prawns have washed up on a beach in Chile, sparking an investigation.
Hundreds of dead crabs were also washed ashore in Coronel city, about 530km (330 miles) from the capital, Santiago.
Ten years later, Colombia nabs rebel linked to Uribe inauguration attack. What’s with the “rebel” thing? The guy’s a terrorist.
Starbucks buys coffee farm in Costa Rica (h/t DP)
Daughter of Oswaldo Paya demands international inquiry into his death
Guatemala ex-ruler Rios Montt on trial for genocide
The trial of the former military ruler of Guatemala, Efrain Rios Montt, for genocide and crimes against humanity has begun in Guatemala City.
Seldom Tried Honduran Dishes Made from Unusual Root Crops (h/t DP)
Heads of state at the Papal inauguration, Bayly style (in Spanish),
Petroperú to Take Over Former Talisman Concession in Peru
Petróleos del Perú SA plans to take over operations at Block 64 in northern Peru, an important step for the state-owned oil company to return to upstream operations.
Venezuela Acts to Ease Dollar Shortage
The week’s posts:
Pope Francis not dancing to Cristina’s tune