Monsignor Oscar Ojea, head of the Argentine Episcopal Conference, published a series of opinions on “this particular time in Argentina” after presidential frontrunner Javier Milei launched multiple broadsides against the Pope, calling him the representative of the Devil on Earth” and a “Jesuit who promotes communism.”
“It’s impossible to build a country without dialogue and with insults, shouting, and disparaging remarks,” the monsignor said.
Ojea also stressed the notion that a candidate’s job is to care for the impoverished and the excluded and that regardless of who wins the elections, “the Church will never renounce the claim of these rights,” as that would be “betraying the gospel.”
“A politician’s calling is to transform reality, to make it more human, so that the people they serve can fully develop their talent and capabilities in the service of the common good,” he continued.
Regarding the statements made against the Pope, Oscar Ojea explained that media outlets have “systematically mistreated” the head of the Catholic Church by focusing on smaller, irrelevant issues rather than the core ideas contained in his writings.
“The Pope is a head of state to whom particular respect is due,” said Ojea.
Last week, a group of priests from low-income areas held a mass of redress in response to the aggressions against Pope Francis on the campaign trail.
Ojea also seemed to target Milei when he mentioned what worries him most about the state of the country. “In this time of hopelessness and disappointment caused by growing poverty… it worries me a lot that a climate of self-destruction has emerged,” he said.
In a rebuke to climate change denialists, Ojea also stated that “we need to fight against the social-environmental crisis the world is going through as a result of climate change, which puts humanity at risk.”
Molly Troup contributed to this story.