Yesterday was a big day for the Catholic Church and for Catholics around the world, especially those in Latin America as the new Pope was revealed for the world to see. Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio made history as the first non-European pope of the modern era, the first from Latin America, the first Jesuit, and the first to use the name Francis. The name Francis is in honor of St. Francis of Assisi who is known among Catholics for his work with the poor.
Pope Francis himself is 76 and has served as the archbishop of Buenos Aires since 1998. He represents a highly conservative perspective, examples being his clashing with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over opposition to gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives. Of the word’s 1.2 billion Catholics, Latin America is home to 480 million. This new Pope brings together the first world and the developing worlds. Also being of the Jesuit order, it represents a new chapter for the Catholic Church.
The news certainly represents a new chapter for Latin America and Argentina specifically. Not long after the news was released I heard bells ringing from nearby churches, horns honking on the streets and of course the social networks were flooded with opinions. Argentina is a predominantly Catholic country but like many countries, there are many people who are disenchanted with the ways of the church. For this and other reasons, news from Porteños (the people of Buenos Aires) was mixed. Many celebrated with other believers and others were embarrassed for the country. One friend of mine said, “Yo hoy quisiera ser uruguaya!” (Today I wanted to be Uruguayan.)
Regardless of religious beliefs, one cause for strong criticism is the now-Pope’s alleged role in Argentina’s last military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983 where an estimated 30,000 people were killed and disappeared. The Argentine Church and Bergoglio, due to his position in the local Jesuit Order at the time, have been accused of ignoring the victims despite their relatives first-hand accounts of kidnappings, torture, and deaths. Here are some comments regarding yesterday’s news, from Argentinians and other Latin Americans, with corresponding picture that are making their rounds in social network land.
- “Ahora van a ser mas agrandados aún!” (Now they’re going to be even more full of themselves.) (Chilean)
- Brace yourselves, now Argentines will feel more Godlike than ever!! (Ecuadorian)
- Según recientes estadísticas ahora de cada 10 argentinos, 11 se sienten superiores a los otros 10. (According to recent stats, now of every 10 Argentines, 11 is going to feel superior to the other 10.) (Colombian)
- Hay un viejo chiste que describe la fama de arrogantes que los argentinos tenemos entre latinoamericanos y españoles: “Dios es argentino”. Hoy ese chiste adquirió un nuevo significado… (There is an old joke that describes the infamous arrogance that Argentinians have with other Latin Americans and Spaniards. “God is Argentinian.” Today this joke has new meaning.) (Argentinian)
- Dios es Argentino y ahora el Papa también!!!jaja (God is Argentinian and now the Pope too – haha.) (Argentinian)
- “El Dios del fútbol es argentino y ahora, también el Papa es argentino”. (The God of football is Argentinian and now also the Pope is Argentinian.) (Maradona)
- Que el Papa sea Argentino confirma que Dios es Maradona. (Now that the Pope is Argentinian, it confirms that Maradona is God.)(Argentinian)
- La verdad me da mucha bronca que una persona que fue cómplice de la dictadura ahora sea Papa; de todas formas, no tiene nada de raro, esa institución nunca tuvo nada que ver ni con la religiosidad ni dios sino todo lo contrario. (The truth is it really pisses me off that a person that was an accomplice of the dictator now is Pope; anyway it’s not strange, this institution never had anything to do with religion nor with God, but only the opposite.) (Argentinian)
- Bergoglio sigue siendo investigado por la participación de la Iglesia en delitos de lesa humanidad. Ni olvido, ni perdón. (Bergoglio continues being investigated for the (Catholic) church’s participation in crimes against humanity. Neither do I forget nor forgive.) (Argentinian)
- Que Dios bendiga e ilumine al nuevo Papa. Primer Papa latinoaméricano! (May God bless and enlighten the new Pope. The first Latin American Pope!!) (Colombian)
With such big news and many jokes to be made relating this to Argentine culture, the photos and jokes won’t stop. Here’s a few for you, and if they don’t make sense, google Argentina and you’ll find out why.
PS – You don’t need to speak Spanish to see the typo.
And like Spanglish Exchange Buenos Aires picture, I can’t bare to not include the following picture for your reference. The Spanish word for potato “Papa” is also the same word for Pope. The difference is in the article. (Potato = la papa, Pope = el Papa).