Argentine leaders thank Pope Francis’s “work for peace”

The letter of thanks was signed by figures across the political spectrum

Argentine politicians and social leaders have expressed “admiration” for Pope Francis in a letter of thanks for his tenth anniversary in the papacy.

In a rare show of cross-party harmony, the letter bears the signatures of politicians from across Argentina’s political spectrum.

“In this tenth anniversary of your pontificate, we Argentines from different spheres of public life, from different religious, political and ideological backgrounds, want to express our admiration and closeness for your work in favor of Humanity, in particular of the excluded and the poor,” the letter read. “Your firm defense of world peace and your constant promotion of an integral ecology that allows us to hear the cry of Mother Nature and human beings in the face of peoples and nature.”

“We Argentines love you very much. We value enormously your tenacious work for peace, justice and integral human development in the whole world. We know the resistance your work generates among those who may see that it affects interests that are not legitimate. Although we desire and hope for your visit, we trust in your wisdom to say yes and, eventually, when.”

The letter ended by thanking the pope. “Those of us who have faith will pray for you; the rest accompany you with affection and trust,” it concluded.

Signatories include President Alberto Fernández, Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Buenos Aires mayor and opposition presidential hopeful Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, and former Buenos Aires province governor María Eugenia Vidal. Numerous ministers, senators, deputies, provincial governors, social leaders, trade unionists, and university deans also signed the letter.

The letter was circulated by the Union of Workers of the Popular Economy (UTEP), a union for people who work in the informal economy, often in precarious and poorly-remunerated work. The organization’s leadership has close ties with Pope Francis.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio became pope on March 13, 2013, the first Argentine and the first Latin American to hold the role as the highest spiritual authority in the Catholic church.

Celebrations for Pope Francis’s decade as pope were held over the weekend in Luján. President Alberto Fernández addressed the crowd, calling for an end to youth drug deaths and a halt to drug-related violence.

Fernández described Francis as “the biggest moral and ethical leader that the world has”.


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