Argentine President Cristina Kirchner and Pope Francis were once neighbors, but the two have had their differences. Like the time she said his opposition to adoption by gay people made him sound like someone out of “medieval times and the Inquisition.” Or when her late husband and predecessor called the former Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio “the true representative of the opposition.”
Still, she’s hoping His Holiness will help his native land out of its little “we-don’t-want-to-pay-our-bills” jam. He’s a champion of the poor, Argentina is a self-proclaimed (and self-impoverished?) poor country. Maybe he’d make a few calls? Exercise his newfound influence with Washington? Put in a good word with the big guy?
Kirchner, whose center-left government is mired in a bitter US court battle with what it terms "vulture fund" creditors, will have lunch with the pope at the Casa Santa Marta, his Vatican residence.
The conversation is not, however, likely to be all flowers and sunshine for Her Excellency. What was that her husband said about the “true representative of the opposition”?
One of Francis's closest associates, Vatican chief of ceremonies Guillermo Karcher, said ahead of Kirchner's visit that the pope was concerned about the Argentine political situation.
"The pope is worried about governability, about a healthy democracy," said Karcher, a fellow Argentine.
Argentina leader seeks pope’s backing for debt battle [AFP via Yahoo!]