Pope Francis leaves weird Bolivian Jesuit Communist “crucifix” in Bolivia… with a twist

FranciscoEvoRegalo_LOsservatoreRomano_090715From Vatican Insider:

This morning Francis lay the two presidential honours he received Wednesday from President Evo Morales in La Paz, at the feet of Our Lady of Copacabana. One of these featured the hammer and anvil with a carving of a crucifix

Before leaving Bolivia, Francis placed two gifts he received on Wednesday from President Evo Morales at the foot of a statue of Mary. One of these, a chain with a chunky medallion, had the figure of the crucified Christ carved into a wooden hammer and anvil. This image had been drawn by Fr. Luis Espinal, the Jesuit priest who was assassinated in Bolivia in March 1980. [So, it is the chain and medallion with the image of commie-crux that the Pope left?  Along with the Bolivian honor?]

“This morning,” reads a statement issued by Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, “Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in the chapel of the private residence of the Archbishop Emeritus of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, the Holy Father presented two decorative honours that were conferred onto him by Bolivian president Evo Morales during his courtesy visit to the Presidential palace in La Paz , to a statue of the Our Lady of Copacabana, patron saint of Bolivia.[So… something doesn’t go back to Rome.  The wooden commie-crux?  However, didn’t Fr. Lombardi say that it wasn’t going to go into a church? ““Certainly, though, it will not be put in a church,” he said.” HERE This Pope is full is surprises.]

Francis accompanied this gesture with the following words: “The President of the nation was kind enough to offer me two decorative honours on behalf of the Bolivian people. I thank the Bolivian people for their affection and the President for this courteous gesture. I would like to dedicate these two decorations to the patron saint of Bolivia, the Mother of this noble nation, so that she may always remember her people and from Bolivia, from the shrine where I would like them to be, that she may remember the Successor of Peter and the whole Church and look after them from Bolivia.”

“Mother of the Saviour and our Mother,” Francis prayed, “You, Queen of Bolivia, who from the height of your Shrine in Copacabana attend to the prayers and needs of your children, especially the most poor and abandoned, and protect them: Receive as a gift from the heart of Bolivia and my filial affection the symbols of affection and closeness that – in the name of the Bolivian people – Mr. President Evo Morales Ayma has bestowed on me with cordial and generous affection, [uh huh] on the occasion of this Apostolic Journey, which I entrusted to your solicitous intercession.”

Francis concluded his prayer by saying: “I ask that these honours, which I leave here in Bolivia at your feet, and which recall the nobility of the flight of the Condor in the skies of the Andes and the commemorated sacrifice of Father Luis Espinal, S.J., may be emblems of the everlasting love and persevering gratitude of the Bolivian people for your solicitous and intense tenderness. At this moment, Mother, I place in your heart my prayers for all the many petitions of your children, which I have received in these days: I beg you to hear them; give them your encouragement and protection, and manifest to the whole of Bolivia your tenderness as woman and Mother of God, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.” [I’m pretty sure he means that God lives and reigns forever and ever, although Mary now lives forever and she is Queen of Heaven forever.]

So, I hope the contraption isn’t returning to Rome.

OL Copacabana

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55 Responses to Pope Francis leaves weird Bolivian Jesuit Communist “crucifix” in Bolivia… with a twist

  1. Faith says:

    Is this statue inside a church? Is it a wayside shrine? Is it an statue out in the open? What happens to stuff left near the statue? Curious minds want to know.

  2. kpoterack says:

    “However, didn’t Fr. Lombardi say that it wasn’t going to go into a church?”

    KP: Well, we don’t know where in the church it will be kept – a sacristy drawer or closet, perhaps? I suppose it all depends on the rector of the Shrine – or the bishop. Don’t know about this particular bishop, but I know that, in general, the Bolivian bishops have been sparing with Morales for years. Perhaps I am being overly optimistic, but this strikes me as possibly a rather clever official kiss-off. (“Oh, thank you so much for these ‘decorative gifts,’ in fact I am going to give them to the Bolivian church where they truly belong – with which they can do whatever they deem appropriate.”)

    After all, the crucifix is only a copy. If the Shrine Church really wanted one, they could have had their own copy made years ago. Has a gift to a pope ever been “re-gifted” so quickly and so publicly?

  3. Elizabeth D says:

    It sounds like he left the 2 different things that the communists hung around his neck. Surely if the “honors” are bestowed on Our Lady then that would seem to neutralize whatever the intended political purpose was in bestowing them on Pope Francis. Our Lady cannot be defiled. It’s not clear to me that it’s saying he left the wooden thing.

    [Good catch.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  4. torch621 says:

    Hopefully our Bolivian friends receive great graces from Our Lady’s intercession, and that’s all I will say about it.

  5. JKnott says:

    “If my requests are not heard, Russia will spread her ERRORS.” Our Lady of Fatima
    How utterly insulting.

  6. tm30 says:

    Geez louise. He presented these blasphemous images of her Son to the Blessed Mother? Symbols of “affection and closeness”? It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so offensive.

  7. Bea says:

    “This morning Francis lay the two presidential honours he received Wednesday from President Evo Morales ”

    What a stretch of the imagination to call them “honours” At least these two horrors (oops, I mean honours) will not be traveling with him to Rome.

    I assume the “two” were the “cross” on a chain and the wooden carved replica of same. Perhaps the reaction of the Catholic world prompted him to do this. This isn’t normally done, is it?

  8. Bea says:

    kpoterack says:
    11 July 2015 at 8:30 PM
    “However, didn’t Fr. Lombardi say that it wasn’t going to go into a church?”

    According to the article it was placed in the chapel of the private residence of the Archbishop Emeritus of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, so it seems it won’t be going to a “church”.

  9. patergary says:

    When the pope left the 2 gifts from Evo at the foot of Our Lady, she will remove the image of his son and crush the communist symbol under her feet, just like she crushed head of the serpent.

  10. Gratias says:

    The big wooden hammer and sickle with a Christ glued to it is what caused this depressing scandal. It was designed by a fellow community organizer Marxist Jesuit two years after the Communist killer Che Guevara had to be killed by our CIA ( back when they had gonads) in the Bolivian Jungle. I know it is difficult for you to believe this, but Latin America was the second front of the Cold War with Communism after Vietnamin the seventies. There Liberation Theologists such as Bishop Romero, Helder Camera, Luis Espinal, Luis Gutierrez, Luis Segundo, D’Escoto and many other Jesuits and Maryknolls prepared the way for the misery and filth in which Nicaragua, Honduras, and Cuba now wallow in. Enjoy the Dung of the Devil Communists! You richly deserve it, and with pope Francis and his international one-world organizers you have an unequalled opportunity to make your lives poorer. Enjoy!

  11. Traductora says:

    The Spanish press says that he left both of the “distintivos,” which would mean emblems or symbols, and also uses the word “distinciones,” which would mean honors or decorations. I assume this refers to the two things that Morales put around his neck. One was the “pectoral hammer and sickle” and the other was something that, in the brief view available in the video, appeared to have the flag of Bolivia and/or possibly even the Virgin of Copacabana on it. In the photo I have seen from the Latin American press, he seems to be putting the latter item at the feet of the Virgin, along with the smaller hammer and sickle. So I imagine he took the bigger carved monstrosity with him.

    One thing that has not received much coverage here is that this whole Bolivian trip was a tribute to the indigenist Marxist movement that Morales represents. Morales is trying to return Bolivia to a preindustrial state where the Indians will live on sort of collective farms and devote themselves to coca cultivation, although recently he has had to accept a little reality and yield some territory for development. But the rhetoric is still all about bringing back the pachamama, indigenous dieties and coca production, etc. And the Pope went all out to support this.

    He gave several truly offensive talks about “oppressive” Christian missionary activity and seemed to be indulging in the “Leyenda Negra” in a big way, that is, the Black Legend of the evils of Spain. Don’t forget that like many Argentinians, he’s entirely of Italian descent (his parents were immigrants from Italy) and he has the traditional Italian dislike of Spain. He managed to offend not only the Spanish, but people throughout Latin America by suggesting that the missionary activity was all about getting the land and that it was done by force. He should learn more about it and read the Leyes de las Indias, which were supposed to govern the behavior of the civil authorities with respect to the native population, as well as the chronicles of the tireless missionaries preaching to the fear-ridden peoples of Latin America, who were oppressed by their native religions and deities and theocratic rulers, but were finally set free from fear by faith in Christ and the true God.

  12. Nicolas Bellord says:

    Of one thing we can be certain. There will be no clarity or certainty concerning this incident. If someone asks me what do I think of this Pope I am tempted to say “I try not to”.

    I mean what can one make of this ‘crucifix’? The cross was an instrument of torture. Is the hammer & sickle an instrument of torture? We venerate the true cross. Are we supposed to venerate the hammer & sickle?

    Perhaps we should just regard it as a bit of kitsch in thoroughly bad taste which we should forget about.

  13. BillyT92679 says:

    I absolutely love the Holy Father’s strong Marian devotion.

  14. Rob in Maine says:

    Thank you St John Paul II for your intercession!

  15. djc says:

    You know Pope Francis really is orthodox in belief and action. Maybe not in ways many in North America can understand but orthodox nevertheless.

    I believe Cardinal Pell was correct in his observation’s about Pope Francis.

    djc

  16. marcelus says:

    Traductora

    No offense but you seem to know very little about Latam history and ikt’s people.

    You say :

    “He gave several truly offensive talks about “oppressive” Christian missionary activity and seemed to be indulging in the “Leyenda Negra” in a big way, that is, the Black Legend of the evils of Spain. Don’t forget that like many Argentinians, he’s entirely of Italian descent (his parents were immigrants from Italy) and he has the traditional Italian dislike of Spain. He managed to offend not only the Spanish, but people throughout Latin America by suggesting that the missionary activity was all about getting the land and that it was done by force. He should learn more about it and read the Leyes de las Indias, which were supposed to govern the behavior of the civil authorities with respect to the native population, as well as the chronicles of the tireless missionaries preaching to the fear-ridden peoples of Latin America, who were oppressed by their native religions and deities and theocratic rulers, but were finally set free from fear by faith in Christ and the true God.”

    Black legend???

    Do you know what SPain did in Potosi in order to extract the silver that adorns the temples of Europe???? When the natives where not enough in Bolivia, sice they were slaughtered by the spaniards, they brought in slaves from Africa. Tom die as well.

    Much like mexican and peruvian gold adorns the temples of Europe too. And that was not nicely asked of the natives was it?

    The mountain of Potosi, probably the richest silver mines in the world still exist.

    It is the main reason why Argentina is called such. From Argentum. They came looking for silver in the 1500’s. But it was up in Bolivia where they found it.

    Black Legend??

    Do not presumptuously confer the category of Bacl legend to these deeds. SOmething spaniards do not like to talk about much.

    Bolivia was one of the most exploited nations on earth,n ot by latin american “powers” BTW.

    I recall Queen Victoria directly crossing them out of the globe she kept in her office with a pen or pencil

    They turned communist? well maybe yes, or maybe a mixture of that with indigenous believes and hierarchy . This guy has actually won elections there.

    But most bolivians come looking for work to Argentina. Francis knows them well.

  17. marcelus says:

    Traductora says:

    “He gave several truly offensive talks about “oppressive” Christian missionary activity and seemed to be indulging in the “Leyenda Negra” in a big way, that is, the Black Legend of the evils of Spain. Don’t forget that like many Argentinians, he’s entirely of Italian descent (his parents were immigrants from Italy) and he has the traditional Italian dislike of Spain.”

    Where on earth do you get this from.??

    The other 40 % of Argentina came from spanish inmigrants,staving inmigrants from 1850 until 1940. That is how our families are made,. 50% italian %50 % spaniards, who still come here, I can give you many examples, looking for work or long lost relatives, being chased away from jobless Spain today

  18. gsk says:

    My grave concern is that now the guardian of the shrine takes the [returned] gifts and displays them prominently near Our Lady in a glass/plastic case with an inscription: “Special gift of His Holiness Pope Francis to the people of Bolivia, marking his particular esteem for the work of Fr Espinal, SJ.”

  19. Benedict Joseph says:

    Traductora’s comment is illuminating. Some rich nuances that, if accurate, make much of what is transpiring understandable, if not any more satisfying.

  20. juergensen says:

    Another day, another scandal. It would be nice if once in a while we were shocked by an unequivocal affirmation of an eternal moral truth.

  21. Johnsum says:

    Millions have been crucified on the hammer and sickle. It is in this sense that the symbol represents objective reality. Well informed Catholics, other Christians, and even atheists view it along with the swastika as an emblem of terror and oppression of rich and poor alike.

    Education and catechesis about our Faith and its sworn enemies must start with at the highest levels in the Church. Lay people will learn when the teaching comes from sincere, committed Catholic bishops and priests.

    It is a scandal that in the 21rst century supposedly well educated and well informed people, even some followers of Jesus Christ, feel comfortable flirting with such oxymoronic nonsense as liberation theology.

  22. DisturbedMary says:

    He left the two decorative honors which I have seen described this way:
    The two medals presented to Francis by Evo Morales. Notice the same hammer & sickle crucifix as the emblem on the top one. Also, the two co-official flags of Bolivia. Since 2009, Bolivia has had two flags. The rainbow colored flag is called the Wiphala of Qullasuyu or the Túpac Katari Wisphala and the rainbow supposedly stands for the indigenous people and the land they live in. Coincidentally, the flag has 7 colors as does the Noahide Rainbow. The Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army (Ejército Guerrillero Túpac Katari) traces its origins to the revolutionaries trained by Che Guevara. We bring this last point up only because one of the Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army’s former members, Álvaro García Linera, is the current vice-president of Bolivia.

    Sounds like none of this is about the commie cross.

  23. Kathleen10 says:

    Thank you to people who have cultural and political insights regarding Latin America. I find your commentary illuminating.
    These are disturbing days. Lord, have mercy on us.

  24. Supertradmum says:

    I think most commentators are missing the point…Mary’s Honor is that she crushes the head of the serpent. She has overcome, through her merit as the Immaculata, the Mother of Grace, the Mediatrix of All Grace, and the Co-Redemptorix, all ideologies, all “isms”, all propaganda art and all bad art.

    I think Francis was being particularly clever here. “Here, Mary, Perfect One, take care of this evil for me.” And, she will.

  25. JimGB says:

    The press today is all about Francis excoriating capitalism. As someone who has worked in the financial services sector in the U.S. for years I have seen, and experienced, how it is the best engine for economic development and lifting the poor. Marxism enslaves all to economic deprivation. Francis does not get it. I have stopped contributing to the Peter’s Pence collection and focus my contributions on local religious charities.

  26. Charlotte Allen says:

    I think Pope Francis nicely finessed the Commie Crucifix issue by leaving the crucifixes in Bolivia. [It wasn’t clear from the report that he left both commie-crux items.]
    Laying them at the feet of the immensely popular Virgen de Copacabana was a great touch–how could Morales object to that? The Virgen de Copacabana long predates idiot Marxism, and Francis’s gesture was a nice reminder that many Bolivians are far more devoted to the Virgen than they are to Morales’s brand of liberation theology.

  27. Will Elliott says:

    To build upon DisturbedMary ‘s post – it looks like Pope Francis was given two Bolivian state decorations – he was made a Knight of the Color of the Order of the Condor of the Andes, which is the gold collar the Pope (Pope Sir Francis?) is wearing and whatever state decoration it is that is on a silver chain with the various flags and the hammer and sickle crucifix on its medallion.

    The reporting on this in the English-language press has been poor – I recognized the gold collar as some sort of state decoration, but have yet to see a news report clearing stating that or stating what the silver collar order is.

    So did the Pope leave the collars of these two state honors before Our Lady of Copacabana and do something else with the Fr. Espinal-inspired hammer and sickle crucifix or did he leave all three items there?

  28. iudicame says:

    Guessing games, shadows, etc. and all par for the course. The cup is overflowing and we are immersed in clouds of froth AS WE SHOULD EXPECT.

    Sad times for joyous souls

    m

  29. Faith says:

    I can’t help it. Every time I see the expression on the pope face I laugh. I think this photo deserves a caption contest.

  30. Giuseppe says:

    I guess I’m not the only one who sometimes re-gifts unwelcome gifts.
    Well played, Papa. Well played!

  31. Amos says:

    Okay people, let’s read again:

    “Receive as a gift from the heart of Bolivia and my filial affection the symbols of affection and closeness that – in the name of the Bolivian people – Mr. President Evo Morales Ayma has bestowed on me with cordial and generous affection …”

    He gave our lady this horrid item as a gift of “affection and closeness.” No one here can defend this, impossible. Pope Francis is playing politics as usual.

  32. I was going to say something along the lines of Supertradmum; Pope Francis must have prayed over this and not been able to figure out what to do, so he just left it with the Blessed Mother. There are times when one must acknowledge his limitations.

  33. Traductora says:

    Take a look at Latin Americans, and you will see that the great majority of people are of mixed Spanish and Indian blood. Take a look at places settled by the English, and you will see that virtually nobody is of mixed blood and the native populations have either ceased to exist or are segregated on reservations. So that tells you a lot about the different approaches.

    Argentina has a very large Italian population…along with a great number of people of German or English descent…and regards itself as something apart from the rest of Latin America. Even its spoken Spanish sounds like Italian, and it doesn’t have the mestizo population of other Latin American countries. So one has to factor this in when thinking about Pope Francis.

    As for Spanish settlement, unlike the English, the Spanish had laws – not always obeyed, and remember that Spain was very far away in the 16th and 17th centuries – that protected the Indians, even from the civil authorities.

    With respect to the Church, the Inquisition (based in Lima and in Mexico City) was very active and most of its focus was on preventing syncretism and on tracking down and eliminating moral corruption among the clergy, particularly with respect to the native peoples. Most of the people punished or even put to death by the Inquisition in Latin America were clergy, usually for moral offenses against the Indians or for attempting to defraud or enslave the Indians, or for syncretism.

    Indians were not considered to know enough to be processed by the Inquisition, and only one was ever tried and put to death for syncretism. This occurred in Mexico, and he was somebody who had been sent to Spain to study but had decided to form his own religion when he got back. BTW, if the Church had been stricter elsewhere on preventing syncretism, we wouldn’t have voodoo or Santeria, both enormously destructive cults (along with La Santa Muerte) that have taken root in Latin America, particularly in the Caribbean.

  34. anna 6 says:

    The traditional papal gift to shrines for the Blessed Mother is usually a Golden Rose. But perhaps Francis saw it and thought, nah…that’s not my style….let’s give the Morales gifts instead.

    I have the same concerns as GSK, regarding the possibility for mischief on the inscription of the display of the items.

  35. Bea says:

    The Bishops of Brazil were not happy with this “gift” by Evo Morales.

    From ACI Prensa:

    Jose Ignacio Munilla @ObispoMunilla
    “El culmen de la soberbia es manipular a Dios al servicio de ideologías ateas… Hoy, una vez más: #CristoCrucificado ”
    23:32 – 8 jul 2015
    TRANSLATION: “The height of pride is to manipulate God in the service of atheistic ideologies…Today, once more Christ is crucified” …Bishop Jose Ignacio Munilla

    SANTA CRUZ, 10 Jul. 15 / 06:27 pm (ACI).- Dos obispos bolivianos criticaron al Presidente Evo Morales, por regalar al Papa Francisco un Cristo tallado en madera sobre una hoz y el martillo, símbolo del comunismo, durante su visita privada realizada el 8 de julio en La Paz.
    TRANSLATION: 2 Bolivian Bishops criticized P.Evo Morales for giving PF ……a symbol of communism during his private visit…

    “Estamos acostumbrados a la ‘originalidad creativa’ del presidente Morales. La expresión de la cara del Papa dice lo suficiente. Quedó sorprendido, para nada sonriente, con la boca casi abierta. Con el interrogante de cómo leer ese gesto”, comentó a la agencia AFP, Mons. Eugenio Coter, Vicario Apostólico de Pando.
    TRANSLATION: “We are used to P, Morales “creative originality”. the expression on the face of the Pope says it all, surprised but not smiling with his mouth agape as if asking ‘how do I read this gesture?'” ….Mons Eugene Coter,Apostolic Vicar of Pando.

    Para el Obispo Emérito Castrense de Bolivia, Mons. Gonzalo del Castillo Crespo, lo que hizo Morales con el polémico obsequio “es una provocación, una travesura”.
    TRANSLATION: “What Morales did with the polemic gesture ‘was a provocation, and a mischievous prank'” ….. Bishop Emeritus Gonzalo del Castillo Crespo.

    Por su parte, el analista Francisco Zaratti comentó que “en los años 70 tenía un sentido esa obra, era el compromiso con el socialismo. Hoy en día con la caída del muro ha quedado atrás. Rescatar un símbolo así es sacarlo del contexto”.
    TRANSLATION: “70 years ago there would have been meaning to this deed, an obligation for socialism. Today the fall of the wall has been left behind, to rescue the symbol is to bring it out of context.” … comment by Analyst Francisco Zaratti.

    All-in-all Bolivians were not happy with Morales’ “obsequious gesture”.

  36. Bea says:

    Interesting what other foreign news have to offer:

    From the French “Riposte Catholique”:
    “Ce que les médias – en tout cas les français – ont peu souligné, c’est qu’avant la présentation de ce “cadeau”, le pape François avait reçu des mains de Morales le collier de l’Ordre du Condor des Andes, que le Président lui mit immédiatement autour du cou, puis une autre décoration quelque peu fantaisiste : l’Ordre du Mérite “Père Luís Espinal Camps”, créé par le Congrès bolivien quelques semaines avant l’arrivée du Souverain Pontife. Le collier de cette décoration fut immédiatement mis au cou du pape par Morales”
    TRANSLATION:
    That which the media (French in any case) has headlined is that before the presentation of “that gift”, the pope had received from the hands of Morales the neckwear of the “Order of Condor of the Andes” and he (Morales) immediately put around the pope’s neck another “decoration” (a bit fantastic)
    from the “Order of Merit of Father Luis Espinal Camps”, created by the Bolivian Congress a few weeks before the arrival of the Supreme Pontiff. This neckwear of this decoration was put immediately on the neck of the Pope by Morales”

    WHAT AN AFFRONT!! “Order of Merit of Fr. Luis Espinal” was created 2 weeks before the Pope’s arrival. This was a planned act of mischief created for the Pope’s visit and placed quickly around his neck before he was aware of what was happening. Morales is known for his anti-clericalism and his action was a jeering action of calculated mischief.

  37. CharlesG says:

    With the alleged “This is not ok,” statement now debunked, there is no indication at all that the Pope sees anything the least bit wrong with using the symbol of the murderous Communist ideology in connection with a crucifix. I see nothing in this statement about the pectoral cross being left at the feet of Our Lady that indicates that he sees anything wrong about it. Moreover, we don’t know what’s being done with the large Communist crucifix. Honestly, I give up.

  38. Imrahil says:

    Dear Traductora,

    very interesting comments.

    I might submit the annotation that “trying to return Bolivia to a preindustrial state” is not Marxist. According to Marx, industrialization (and even Capitalism!) is a necessary (though much deplorable) step in the development of peoples that will bring forth, by way of dialectics (notice that seemingly innocent, merely wrong, theories such as that of Hegel here have unforeseen consequences in practice), Communist revolution.

    Lenin, who went beyond what Marx found worth bothering about by trying to organize an, in the outset, to large part non-industrialized state according to the principles of Socialism, said, “Communism is soviet power mixed with the electrification of the whole continent”. And indeed, when the GDR was finally allowed to go home, we took over what in large parts was an industrial wasteland – though not a very efficient one – with colorless industrialized-apartment-blocks for to live in. (Some of the latter now enjoy architectural-memorial status to better remember the time…) It was Capitalism which, sometimes quite litterally, brought the return to the “green pastures in bloom” which – coming to think of it: perhaps not insignificantly – Chancellor Kohl spoke of.

    And of course, trying to correct industrialization has been a long-term objective for many good Catholics. The names Chesterton, Belloc, Tolkien come to mind, as also the observation of one First Things commenter w.r.t. Laudato si. (http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/06/the-return-of-catholic-anti-modernism)

    Interesting about the traditional Italian disdain of the Spanish; I didn’t know that. (I might add, here, too – in a hyperbole – that just about every young Italian you meet either has made, or is making, or plans to make an Erasmus trip to Santiago de Compostela or Barcelona – which, though, is Catalonia; Madrid seems to be a rather rare choice…)

  39. Imrahil says:

    Confirming the specialty of Argentinians, here’s what German blogger Josef Bordat wrote about them:

    “In fact, Argentinians really are special. Mexicans are a mixture of Aztecs and Spaniards, Guatemalteks are a mixture of Maya and Spaniards, Bolivians are a mixture of Aymara and Spaniards and Peruvians are a mixture of Quechua and Spaniards. Argentinians are a mixture of Italians, Jews and Nazis. The rest of the southern subcontent vibrates through nights in round movements: on the Rio de la Plata, they use one ever same melody and dance tango along it. Elsewhere, they subsist on corn, Quinua or Amarant: in Argentinia, they subsist on beef.”

  40. Kirk O says:

    Pope Francis fights his political battles much differently than we want or expect him to do. He lays them at the feet of our Mother and her Son.

  41. DisturbedMary says:

    Re the commie cross necklace or carving given to Holy Father, maybe he should have left it in Mother Earth, i.e., a landfill where it could be recycled with the rest of the refuse.

  42. SimonR says:

    Father,

    It might be necessary to change the heading.
    Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service has tweeted:

    @Cindy_Wooden: #PopeFrancis on hammer-sickle crucifix: It’s “protest art” and he’s bringing it home to Vatican with him

    I guess the Pope said this during his in flight press conference on the journey back to Rome.

  43. Robbie says:

    Here’s an update to this story. On the flight back to Rome, Pope Francis said he was not offended by the hammer and sickle crucifix and described it as “protest” art. He continued saying he would bring the items back with him to the Vatican. This is according to tweets sent by Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service and Francis X. Rocca of the WSJ.

  44. Sonshine135 says:

    This reminds me of when your non-pork eating sister-in-law gets mad about your bacon habit, and then proceeds to buy you bacon scented body wash that smells nothing like bacon. Then you quietly and politely thank her and throw it in the garbage.

    That hammer and sickle crucifix being placed at the foot of Our Mother was Pope Francis’ equivalent of throwing away the bacon body wash.

  45. robtbrown says:

    Gratias says:

    I know it is difficult for you to believe this, but Latin America was the second front of the Cold War with Communism after Vietnamin the seventies.

    You’re right that Latin America was the second front of the Cold War. The main front, however, was always Central and Eastern Europe.

    BTW, Gustavo Guiterrez is generally considered the father of Liberation Theology. He is a Dominican, not a Jesuit.

  46. As soon as I read that Pope Francis put the commie stuff at the foot of Mary, my immediate impression was that the Pope was saying “Oh dear Virgin, here, YOU take this, I put this in your hands, save the people who gave me these blasphemous symbols of atheism!”.

    I dunno.

    Folks sure seem to enjoy putting the worst spin possible on Pope Francis. Yea, I get that there is plenty of fodder. But still…

  47. Supertradmum says:

    I do not think that people understand that Virgo Potens, Our Lady.

    From St. John Paul II:
    “In the salvific design of the Most Holy Trinity, the mystery of the Incarnation constitutes the superabundant fulfillment of the promise made by God to man after original sin, after that first sin whose effects oppress the whole earthly history of man (cf. Gen. 3:15). And so, there comes into the world a Son, ‘the seed of the woman’ who will crush the evil of sin in its very origins: ‘he will crush the head of the serpent.’ As we see from the words of the Protogospel, the victory of the woman’s Son will not take place without a hard struggle, a struggle that is to extend through the whole of human history. The ‘enmity,’ foretold at the beginning, is confirmed in the Apocalypse, the book of the final events of the Church and the world. Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word, is placed at the very center of that enmity, that struggle which accompanies the history of humanity on earth and the history of salvation itself. In this history Mary remains a sign of sure hope” (Redemptoris Mater ).

  48. Supertradmum says:

    something got dropped–that Virgo Potens, Our Lady, is all-powerful over all demons.

  49. TraditionalCatholicGirl says:

    This from OnePeterFive:

    http://www.onepeterfive.com/pope-francis-on-communist-crucifix-it-wasnt-an-offense/

    “This morning, we have the first reports from the Holy Father’s plane trip back to Rome. While we await the longer transcript of his remarks, The Associated Press has issued a report:

    ‘Pope Francis says he wasn’t offended by the “Communist crucifix” given to him by Bolivian President Evo Morales during his South American pilgrimage.

    […]

    Francis, an Argentine Jesuit, said Espinal was well-known among his fellow Jesuits as a proponent of the Marxist strain of liberation theology. The Vatican opposed it, fearing that Marxists were using liberation theology’s “preferential option for the poor” as a call for armed revolution against oppressive right-wing regimes that were in power in much of Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s.

    During a news conference en route home to Rome on Sunday, Francis said he interpreted Morales’ gift through the prism of Espinal’s Marxist bent and viewed it as protest art.

    After taking into consideration the time in which he lived, Francis said: “I understand this work. For me it wasn’t an offense.”

    Francis added that he brought the crucifix home with him.'”

    That horrible item was brought home to Rome, and not left at the feet of the statue of Our Lady.

    Pray for the pope. I’m not making any assumptions, or spouting any fantastical claims… Just pray for the Holy Father. He needs it more than any of us, due to the nature of his office.

  50. seattle_cdn says:

    AP reports the sickle-fix is going back to Rome

    [sickle-fix – Good one!]

  51. joan ellen says:

    How grateful I am for the variety of responses in the above comments about the ‘gifts’ the Holy Father received in So. America. I really appreciate the comments that allow me to consider the culture…customs and history especially…of the people Pope Francis visited. I tend to dismiss that important aspect of God’s people…as do many, it seems, of my very tradition minded friends.

    Sometimes we expect that everyone, everywhere has to believe exactly the same way we do in order to be catholic and Catholic. Not to say heresy and disobedience are o.k., but that can’t we allow for a little difference in people, especially in other cultures, who are on their way to conversion as we are?

    My initial reaction/response was that the Holy Father was exhibiting ‘grace under fire.’ I agree with the above comment about Pope Francis being an “astute politician.” Surely he receives ‘astuteness’ and ‘political’ help from above that we know nothing about partly, perhaps, because of the 3 Aves he asked each of us to pray daily for him.

    As much as I do not like that sickle-fix ‘gift’, God will surely use it for His benefit.

  52. Auggie says:

    We don’t have to speculate, regarding a false idol, how “God will surely use it for His benefit.”
    Holy Scripture tells us that He, for our benefit also, demands that they be utterly destroyed.

  53. joan ellen says:

    Auggie, thank you for reminding me of what God will do for our benefit. Perhaps that ‘thing’ will just disappear one day, and soon.

    I marvel at this Holy Father. He puts something out there for us to ‘chew’ on, and sure enough there are plenty of good Catholic Catechists out there who get the ‘catechizing’ done for everyone’s benefit…for those who are new and for those who are not new Catholics, and even for those who are not yet Catholic. What a strategy!

    Now others are getting on the ‘band wagon’ such as with this ‘sickle-fix’…and there are the people as on this blog…educating us in the faith. I say thanks and thanks be to God.