During his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio did not see eye-to-eye with Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, on several issues like gay marriage and birth control. Yet one of the topics where both Fernández and Pope Francis share the same opinion has apparently unnerved some in the British press.
Several media outlets across the Atlantic have republished remarks made by Bergoglio at a 2012 mass commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the Falklands War.
"We come to pray for those who have fallen, sons of the homeland who set out to defend his mother, the homeland, to claim the country that is theirs and they were usurped," he said.
During the service, 649 red roses were placed on the altar in tribute to commemorate the hundreds of troops killed during the war that affirmed Britain’s control over the Falklands.
“The country cannot exclude from its memory any of those who were called; it has to take care of so many hearts with scars and say thank you, to those who remained on the islands or submerged in water, all of them,” Bergoglio added.
While Bergoglio’s comments may have raised some eyebrows some British analysts like Victor Bulmer-Thomas, an associate fellow at London-based think tank Chatham House, doubt that the new Pontiff will issue any strong opinions over Las Malvinas:
"I imagine he would avoid it like the plague. As a good Argentinian, it was perfectly natural for him to support the position that most Argentinians take, but he's not representing Argentinians now but all Catholics ... You look at the list of things this poor man has to deal with and the Falklands has got to be way down."
Papal historian Michael Walsh echoed Bulmer-Thomas's comments, saying: "He's very unlikely to say anything that would upset one side rather than the other, although I can't help feeling it might be a long time before he gets an invitation to Britain."The resurfacing of Bergoglio’s remarks comes days after a whopping 99.8% of Falkland residents voting in a non-binding referendum backed remaining under British rule.
“It's the clearest possible result there could be,” declared an “over the moon” British Prime Minister David Cameron after the results were tallied.
Fernández, in the meantime, called the vote a “parody” and said it was as if “a consortium of occupiers had voted on whether to continue illegally occupying a building.”
Fernández is expected to be one of the many global dignitaries attending an inauguration mass for the new Pope that will be held six days after he was elected as supreme Roman Catholic leader.
Video Source– YouTube via euronews
Online Sources – The Guardian, The Telegraph, GlobalPost, CNN, The Latin Americanist