Pope Francis phoned president-elect Javier Milei on Tuesday to congratulate him on his victory, according to La Libertad Avanza (LLA) sources.
Those sources added that, during the conversation, Milei invited the Argentine pontiff to visit his home country next year. He received the call from Jorge Bergoglio while he was giving an interview to the La Nación+ channel at the Libertador Hotel, his de facto political headquarters.
According to what LLA sources told the Télam news agency, the telephone conversation “lasted between 8 and 9 minutes”, they talked about “the poverty in the country and the proposals for change.” The contact was made through a friend of the Pope who is traveling to the country with a blessed rosary to be delivered to the President-elect.
Milei has previously described the Pope as “the representative of the Evil One on Earth” and accused the pontiff of having an “affinity with murderous communists. Milei’s libertarian mentor, Benegas Lynch, even called for an end of diplomatic relations with the Vatican at the LLA closing campaign rally before the first round.
During the first presidential debate, Milei said he had apologized to the Pope. “If the Pope wants to come to Argentina, he will be respected not only as head of state but also as leader of the Catholic Church,” he said then.
Pope Francis has not returned to Argentina since leaving for the Vatican a decade ago and had already revealed in April that he was planning to visit in 2024.