COCA, “HAMMER AND SICKLE”: BERGOGLIO’S TRIP
July 10, 2015
Pope Bergoglio seems to be quite at his ease immersed in the carnival babel of the plazas and regimes of South America. His character is more understandable in that atmosphere.
There are those who sustain that Morales was out of place and placed the Pope in difficulty, but it seems actually, that this is not how things were at all. In the first place, it seems obvious to suppose that the ceremonies were arranged beforehand, so I doubt that that “gift” took the Vatican by surprise (and if there hadn’t been the precautionary agreement, there would be something more to worry about as it would mean that the Pope is exposed to the affront of any demagogue at hand).
In the second place, it is significant that a Head of State, even of surreal socialism, like Morales, considered giving such a horror to Pope Bergoglio and nobody, on the other hand, ever thought of giving it to John Paul II or Benedict XVI (for example during the trips to Cuba). Evidently, they must have thought that the object – (which might perfectly well symbolize Liberation Theology and every latitude of “Catholic-communism” with Christ crucified as “a metaphor” for the poor”) – would have been welcomed and appreciated by the Argentinian Pope.
Morales, in fact, didn’t have the attitude of a “provoker”, but as an admirer of Bergoglio, whom he praised continuously as the “Pope of the poor”.
Lastly, as I said before, Bergoglio smiled courteously at the explanation of the symbols and wore that obscene representation round his neck.
Would he have done the same if he had been given the gift of a repugnant swastika with an “Aryan Christ” on it? I think (and hope) not. So, why the “hammer and sickle” then?
To those who must foolishly argue that Communism is now a thing of the past, it must be said that also the swastika is a thing of the past and nobody would want to wear it round their neck.
The crimes of Communism and Nazism cannot be forgotten. But, above all, it must be remembered that under the “hammer and sickle” regimes, even today, Christians are being persecuted and massacred. We are not talking here about negligible cases, seeing that at this time China alone, numbers a billion and 300 million inhabitants. While North Korea for ferocity matches that of Pol Pot’s Cambodia.
What’s more, among the Pope’s “gifts” from Morales, the “surreal socialist”, there is yet another one, just as embarrassing. When Bergoglio came down from the aircraft’s stairway, Morales placed round his neck a traditional “chuspa” - the container for coca-leaves which is used in Andean countries.
The site “Dagospia”, which has a flair for trash, rightly commented: “The only things missing were a Che Guevara T-Shirt and one of Bob Marley’s bongos.”
Nonetheless, this is a tragic-comical situation. The reason being that the Andean countries, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia are the greatest producers of coca in the world. In addition, Morales, who is today still the head of a syndicate of coca –growers, has used the legalization of coca as his main international, political battle. “Limes” dedicated an article to him which began like this: “ “Long live coca, death to the Yankees!” shouted Evo Morales, on January 14th 2013, while celebrating the victory obtained from the United Nations in his battle for the legalization of coca.”
So, was it really necessary for the Pope to wear so care-freely that emblematic container round his neck? Didn’t he think his figure was being manipulated by Morales for a very questionable - actually a detestable - battle? Is it not devastating to degrade the figure of the Pope to this extent?
It seems that Bergoglio doesn’t really like exercising the virtue of prudence. Over the last few days, the news from the Bolivian government had [already] caused quite a stir by reporting that the Pope intended to chew on some coca-leaves when he arrived in Bolivia.
Nobody knows if he did this, but in any case, the “Bishop of Rome” wore with no trouble at all the “chuspa” that Morales placed round his neck. Furthermore, even as I write, there has been no indication so far, that Bergoglio thundered against the economic system of those countries which make the cultivation of coca one of their chief sources of revenue. We’ll see. There is, though, a reason to doubt that this will happen, seeing that until now he has [only] made speeches of appreciation regarding Morales’ Bolivian regime, saying clearly that Bolivia is on the right road. You can read this, word for word, in “La Repubblica” : “…strong support from the Pope - who just arrived in La Paz - for the way to social inclusion in Bolivia […] Friendly and very much in synch, with President Evo Morales”.
In compensation, Bergoglio thundered against those who build walls (“We need to build bridges not construct walls”). According to some observers he was getting at Israel and Hungary (for the barriers they built to protect their frontiers).
Wouldn’t he have been better, in that place, thundering against those who cultivate and sell coca?
There is no trace of healthy ecclesial prudence in Bergoglio, not a trace either of ardor for inconvenient truths. And – if I may jest – it is the Catholic Faith itself that’s going up in “smoke”.
Bergoglio’s trip to South America helps us understand, why, precisely in that once very Catholic continent, the Church over the last decades is in freefall, with a statistical collapse of membership which has no equal in the world. Where priests and bishops are syndicates and demagogues, people feel no attraction for the faith. If the discourses of the ecclesiastics resemble those of Evo Morales – why continue going to church? It is for this reason, that the religious question and the attraction for the supernatural is conveyed through other forms of religiosity and many, many people are abandoning the Catholic Church.
Bergoglio is now applying this ruinous recipe, already experimented in Latin America, also to the Universal Church. In order to produce the same disasters.
And so, he will leave a trail of smoking ruins, with lots of applause from the perennial enemies of the Church and from the likes of Morales and the coca-growers.
Post scriptum: Certain clergy “from the fire brigade” faced with the bad impression Bergoglio made – spread the word that he had replied objecting “No está bien eso” - "this is not all right."
I wish he had said so and had refused it.
Such a version, though, is contradicted by the video wherein you can see that Bergoglio accepts the gift, and doesn’t refuse it (anyway he’s wearing the same blasphemous image on the medallion round his neck).
Actually, in the video you can hear Bergoglio well and he didn’t say: not “No está bien eso”, but “no lo sabía eso” , - "I didn’t know this" [or "I wasn't aware of this"].
What were these words referring to? What didn’t he know?
What Morales was explaining to him, i.e. that the crucifix with the hammer and sickle was designed by the Jesuit, Luis Espinal, who was killed in 1980 by the paramilitary and whose tomb at La Paz, Bergoglio had just been to, to render homage as is done at the tomb of a martyr.
Father Lombardi himself, confirmed, somewhat reluctantly: “I didn’t know it either”. It was the Bolivian Jesuits that told him the design was by Father Espinal.
So there was no refusal from Bergoglio. Knowing the paternity of that symbol is a ‘flash’ which helps you understand many things about the South American Church. It helps you understand the relationships and the influences of the Marxist world on the Church. How terribly embarrassing!
[Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]