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The Pope and the Falkland Islands, explained...

2015-08-21

It was at the end of his weekly general audience, when an Argentine activist, named Gustavo Hoyo asked the Pope to take a photograph with this sign. It read: "It's time for dialogue between Argentina and the United Kingdom on the Falkland Islands.” The photograph made its way around the globe, as people questioned whether the Pope was taking sides.

It referenced a dispute between both countries and the sovereignty of the Islands. An issue that reached its peak in 1982, when Argentina tried but failed to recover the islands from Great Britain. 

The goal of the activist was for the picture to be part of a campaign he had worked on for many years. It's a movement which over time has included many Latin American presidents, seven Nobel prize winners, famous athletes and stars. 

EDUARDO VALDES
Argentina's Ambassador to the Holy See
"The Pope didn't take a side, supporting or refuting anything. The Pope simply encouraged the need for dialogue. It's one of the pillars he uses to break down walls and barriers. In this case, that barrier between the U.K and Argentina.” 

A 1965 UN resolution calls for both sides to move forward and find a peaceful resolution through dialogue. The activist says, that's the purpose of the campaign. 

The Vatican has downplayed the incident, by stating that the picture wasn't official, but rather something spontaneous that happened randomly amid all buzz and excitement of a general audience. 


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