From Argentina, for the Denzinger-Bergoglio
Francis receives the woman who called John Paul II ‘a swine’ who should ‘burn alive in Hell’
Recently, invited by Francis, Hebe de Bonafini went the Vatican to have a private audience with Francis — whom she had earlier labelled as a “fascist”, “trash” and other things that can’t be mentioned here, though she now admits: “I did not know of your commitment to the poor.”
This pious pilgrim to the Eternal City had “on one occasion publicly expressed her desire for the death of John Paul II, and after he died, she said the Pontiff would “go to hell.”
She also said clearly : “We want him to burn alive in hell. He’s a swine. Even though a priest told me that a swine is to be eaten, this Pope is uneatable.”
But, she did much more than that. Having taken over the cathedral of Buenos Aires in an act of protest, she relieved herself behind the main altar. And there are countless other affronts committed against Bishops, priests and faithful Catholics, together with eulogies to the FARC and ETA and the regimes of Castro, Maduro and of course of the Kirchners, her protectors. Bonfini is also notorious for having publically rejoiced after the attacks of September 11 in New York.
It must be noted that Bonafini herself set the rules for this encounter with Francis, to the humiliation of Vatican diplomacy: “He invited me to an event on July 25 but I will only meet him if he complies with my request to give a mass re-vindicating the Third World priests killed and forcibly disappeared. He said he would” (Interview, June 2015)
In Argentina, we know very well who Hebe de Bonafini is: one of the most brutish, hate-filled women ever to appear in the media and political scene of our country.
But many Catholics from other parts of the world are unaware who this left-wing radical is, and may take her encounter with Francis as just another visit among that of so many other atheists, heretics or libertines (and of course, some decent people also, it must be acknowledged!) who have visited the Vatican in recent times. When Francis’ “kindness” goes as far as receiving and kissing the cheek of this intolerable anti-Catholic activist the fissure between the few that still like or respect him in Argentina and those who progressively detest and criticize him will only widen.
The situation we refer to here is not about political ideologies — we are well aware what Bergoglio’s preferences are — nor of personal or temperamental affinities, that do exist. It is a question of decorum, of etiquette and of dignity. Francis simply does not have the right to stain the venerable precinct of the Holy See, not even within the laid-back decor of Santa Marta, with the presence of the likes of Hebe de Bonafini. Or perhaps, just as the Bolivian dictators, each bishop of Rome may do whatever he so wishes with Vatican politics?
The ‘others’: those who were turned away
It is unfortunate that during the same week that Bonafini accepted the reiterated invitations to visit Francis, he had refused to receive another social activist for political reasons: Margarita Barrientos, Social Worker and Illustrious citizen of Buenos Aires. Barrientos is foundress of numerous charities: the soup kitchen Los Piletones, the Kindergarten San Cayetano, the Health Center Angela Palmisano, and a Day Center for Grandparents. Why then wasn’t she acceptable? The problem is that she is allied with President Mauricio Macri…
In fact, Margarita Barrientos was merely going to be present in a public audience, not a private audience as Bonafini “We were to participate in the audience and we had tickets for a place to sit…But suddenly the Swiss Guard came and took us out of our places without explanations, they only said that there were other people who had more priority and the Francis could not receive us.” “The fact that the Pope didn’t receive me was because of politics. I was accompanied by a well-known journalist (Karina Villela) and Juan Carlos Pallarols. It hurt me that he didn’t receive me due to my connection with Mauricio Macri. Today I no longer have any desire that he receive me. We were situated in the “sagrato” and they took us from our places in a shocking manner. They lacked in respect toward us. I left a letter for the Pope but he never answered me” (source: ArgentinaViral)
It is significant that before even Margarita Berrientos had been invited to leave the audience, Estela de Carlotto, member of the ‘Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo’ was given a place at her side… Ellisa Carrió, a renowned deputy and practicing Catholic, declared in her Twitter account that: “As a Christian I feel embarrassed that the Pope didn’t receive Margarita Barrientos. Thank God I always refused to go to the Vatican.” “It is highly dangerous to nourish violence, above all from the spiritual plane”, “I say, and repeat: To Rome I will not go” (Source: La Nación)
Francis’ handpicked ‘gestures of encounter and mercy’
The consternation caused by Francis’ friendship with Cristina, Pérez Esquivel, Milagro Sala, and the Curas Villeros (the so-called ‘slum priests’ – our brothers in the priesthood but not in the faith nor in discipline) and so many others, gives us the profound reasons to understand the private encounter with Bonafini.
If you have already tried to interpret or justify the profound reasons why Francis sets himself up for such an encounter (see why Francis does not visit his homeland, or why he is so cold with the Argentine President), you will be not be surprised to note what Francis himself pronounced on the issue.
The president of the Argentine Episcopal Conference (AEC), Monsignor José María Arancedo, asked to “not make political interpretations” of Pope Francis’ attitudes, such as the meeting he will hold with Hebe de Bonafini in the Vatican, or regarding the rosary he sent to the imprisoned social activist Milagro Sala (see study here), affirming that these are “gestures of encounter and mercy.”
Let’s take a look at some other personages that preceded Francis in “gestures of encounter and mercy” with Hebe de Bonafini: warm embraces with Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales.
But for Francis, it’s very clear: “My obligation as pastor is that of understanding with meekness. She doesn’t know how and how much they tortured her sons. What I see there is the sorrow of a mother. And I cannot close the doors to her” (source: MDZonline). How moving!
It is just too bad that he sheds (crocodile) tears only from his left eye. It’s also too bad that he didn’t think the same of the poor families of the political prisoners he did not wish to receive in Cuba, nor the victims of the Bolivarian repression of Maduro, nor the family of Asia Bibi, the Christian condemned to death in Pakistan for having defended her faith….
Vatican diplomacy at the service of a banana republic
In criticizing this visit, which for us constitutes a total aberration, we are not judging the intentions but rather the facts, for it is obvious that until now we haven’t reaped any fruits from the numerous “cordial” encounters that Francis holds with people hostile to the Church…and who continue to be.
Those in charge of protocol in the Vatican, the Secretary of State, the Prefect of the Papal Household and the Swiss Guard (why ever not? whoever you are, whatever you can do…) still have the chance to brake this affront to our Church, already so stained by the happenings from the ends of the earth… “The end of the earth” – this is how the bishop emeritus of Buenos Aires had qualified our poor country from the balcony of Saint Peter’s right after he was invested as Supreme Pontiff.
In doctrine, Francis is definitively writing a new ‘Magisterium’, for which a new Denzinger is becoming necessary. But with these populist audiences, Francis is definitely bringing Vatican diplomacy to the level of a banana republic…
Note from Denzinger Bergoglio: Some documentary pearls about this woman who received “a gesture of encounter and mercy” from Francis. Enjoy the videos: