Milei invites Pope Francis to Argentina

Years ago, the president called the pope ‘the representative of the Evil One on Earth,’ although he has since apologized

President Javier Milei invited Pope Francis to visit Argentina in a letter in which he recognized his austerity and economic deregulation measures might “broaden inequity.” Milei has a complex relationship with the Vatican: he has insulted the pope in the past and later apologized.

“You know very well that you don’t need an invitation to come to Argentina,” says the letter, which was shared on social media. “At risk of saying something unnecessary, I invite you to visit our beloved homeland.”

“Our economy is in critical condition and it is necessary to adopt urgent measures to avoid a social catastrophe with painful consequences,” the letter reads. Milei added that in his first weeks as president he has adopted policies to fix the situation, keeping the pope’s “advice to have the necessary wisdom and courage in mind.”

While he said he is aware those decisions could broaden social and economic inequity, Milei assured his priority is “protecting the most vulnerable countrymen.” The Catholic Church’s social work will be “invaluable” during this time, he added.

Milei’s relationship with the Vatican has seen some ups and downs in the past year. A few years ago, before going into politics, Milei described the Pope as “the representative of the Evil One on Earth.” Last September, he said that “the pope is a political player who has shown affinity for dictators” and “murderous communists,” citing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Cuban politician Raúl Castro.

Two weeks later, Milei apologized during the first presidential debate, saying the pope would be respected if he decided to visit Argentina during his presidency.

Weeks later, Milei’s libertarian mentor, Alberto Benegas Lynch, called for an end to diplomatic relations with the Vatican at his closing campaign rally before the general elections. “It was part of a speech, his personal opinion,” Milei said later, adding that while he respects Benegas Lynch’s point of view, he doesn’t share it.

In Thursday’s letter, Milei stressed his “highest consideration and respect” for the pope and his work.

Pope Francis has not visited his home country since assuming the papacy in 2013, despite every president inviting him since then.

Last October, Francis admitted he has yet to visit Argentina in an interview with Argentine news agency Télam. “I’d like to go,” he said, but didn’t specify when he would be back in his homeland. He added that other possible trips are under review, and some take precedence over others.


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