What is the connection between Argentina's new president and a potential papal trip?

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Javier Milei has won Argentina's elections with more than 55% of the vote, so in December, he will become the official President of the Argentine Republic.

With the elections now closed, two questions arise. One is whether Milei will visit the Pope at the Vatican. For years, he has spoken out against Pope Francis, calling him an “imbecile” and a “communist.”

In the last debate with his contendor, Milei again apologized for what he had said about Pope Francis. And in an interview, he assured that he would have no problem visiting the Vatican to talk to the Pope, as done so by his predecessors.

The current president, Alberto Fernandez, visited the Vatican in 2020, where he spoke with the Pope for 45 minutes. Prior to him, President Macri also met with the Pope for about half of the duration. President Kirchner met him on several occasions as well.

The other question that arises with Milei's election revolves around Pope Francis' highly discussed trip to Argentina. It is a trip that the Pope has not ruled out—as he admitted publicly in a press conference on his return from Iraq in 2021.

I always respond a little ironically: I've spent 76 years in Argentina—that's enough, isn't it? But there is one thing I don't know why it is not said. That there has been a trip to Argentina scheduled since November 2017.

A few months ago, he was asked about this again and replied that his idea is to go next year, in 2024.

This is in addition to the formal request of the Argentine Bishops Conference which, after its last assembly, issued a letter inviting Pope Francis to visit his homeland. In it, the bishops pointed out that they would “greatly benefit” from the Pope's visit, as well as “his blessing” during what they defined as “difficult times.”


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