Reaction in Argentina to the election of one of their own as pope has sparked a divergence of opinion. While mainly positive, among some it has revived a polemic about the role of the Roman Catholic Church during the country’s so-called “dirty war”.
“Simplicity is natural to the new pope. He doesn’t like the protocols. He doesn’t like to be with people when it has nothing to do with spiritual issues,” said one supporter who knew the new pope before his elevation.
But the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo are more critical of the former cardinal. They are campaigning for justice for their children who “disappeared” during the military dictatorship, in the 1970s and early 80s.
“The Church in Argentina was giving communion to the assassins and the assassins should repent. Ours didn’t repent not even during their trials. He was nominated bishop at that time. And as a bishop he could have done more. But who am I to judge,” said one of the activist mothers.
Journalist Francesca Ambrogetti conducted several interviews with Pope Francis before his elevation to the papacy. For her it’s purely a matter of doctrine and what direction the new pope will steer the church.
“I think that the cardinals chose the right person because of his vision of the church. This new vision of the church, the pope when he was a cardinal described in my book. He speaks about a church of mission, a church that meets the people, a church that doesn’t only find it’s reason in itself but answers to the demands of the Catholics.”
Reporting for euronews, Olaf Bruns said: “There is a mixture of different opinions about the new pope and it remains to be seen if Francis I will be able to reconcile theses opposing views. But for the moment it looks as if the cardinals have sent a clear sign for wanting to steer a conservative course.”