Pope Francis

Communist Crucifix Too Far for Pope Francis

South American tour goes through Bolivia

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L'Osservatore Romano

Bolivian President Evo Morales gave Pope Francis a crucifix fashioned in the form of a Communist hammer-and-sickle during Francis' stop there. The Argentinian pope is on his first trip to South America since assuming the papacy, and did not appear pleased, murmuring "no está bien eso" and shaking his head.

You can watch the gift exchange below:

The Vatican tried to distance the pope from his objection. The hammer-and-sickle crucifix was a replica of one created by a Spanish Jesuit killed by the Bolivian government in 1980. The Catholic News Agency reports:

At a July 9 press briefing the Holy See press officer, Fr. Federico Lombardi, noted the lack of clarity in the audio of the exchange, and remarked that Pope Francis had been unaware the crucifix was a replica of Fr. Espinal's.

He also claimed that Fr. Espinal's use of it was not ideological but expressed a hope for dialogue between communism and the Church, adding that Pope Francis' remark likely expresed a sentiment of "I didnt' know", rather than "This is not right."

Other Catholics ween't as accommodating:

Catholics from various Hispanophone countries rejected Morales' gesture, considering it offensive to the numerous victims of terrorist groups in Latin America and of the historical totalitarian communist regimes.

Bishop Jose Munilla Aguirre of San Sebastián, a Spaniard, tweeted: "The height of arrogance is to manipulate God in the service of atheistic ideologies … Today, once again: #ChristCrucified".

Around the world, the left's become excited about the pope's latest encyclical, specifically and exclusively portions about climate change and environmental stewardship. The pope curried that kind of selective support by tapping anti-capitalist Naomi Klein for upcoming climate talks. But, as A. Barton Hinkle wrote earlier this week, the left's embrace of religious justification for public policy only applies when it leads to bigger government.

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  1. So he’s not a communist?

    1. Well, not a Leninist

      1. Trotsky was kind of a Leninist, and look where that got him.

    2. Not so fast! We’re still trying to figure out if he’s a Catholic!

  2. I didn’t know “no est? bien eso” was Spanish for “Seriously dude, WTF?”

    1. Actually, that means (by implication), “No thanks, I already have one.”

  3. Bishop Jose Munilla Aguirre of San Sebasti?n, a Spaniard, tweeted: “The height of arrogance is to manipulate God in the service of atheistic ideologies ? Today, once again: #ChristCrucified”

    I nominate this guy as next Pope.

    1. Yes, because offering someone a tonedeaf gift is basically the same as torturing them to death.

  4. That is beautiful. The commiepope should wear that as a necklace.

  5. Iconoclasm. So progressive.

  6. Poor Pope Francis, thinking he he still must pretend he’s not a raging commie.

    Truly breaks my heart.

  7. He also claimed that Fr. Espinal’s use of it was not ideological but expressed a hope for dialogue between communism and the Church…

    I wonder now if maybe Piss Christ was in case the Messiah was put to death via jellyfish stings.

  8. “No Est? Bien Eso” would be a great title for the Pope’s weekly advice column. Or better yet, his call in TV show.

  9. I like it, actually.

    The hammer and sickle as an instrument of torture and death seems completely appropriate to me.

    1. +1, hanging around until Easter.

  10. I think we’ve finally seen a real-life Epic Faux-Pas that out-retards even Twitter

    1. Or giving Britain your own Greatest Hits CD…..

      /Bronco Bama

      1. Dear Brittain(y):

        I made you this sweet mix tape. Will you be my girlfriend?

        Love, Barry

  11. Whatever the intent, the idea of Christ crucified on a hammer and sickle would certainly resonate with many of the victims of Communism…including my own church, the UKRAINIAN GREEK CATHOLIC CHURCH.

    1. I mean this in all seriousness without any mockery, but that’s an odd name. I assume there’s some sort of organized Greek Catholic church that has adherents in Ukraine (and elsewhere, obviously)? What’s the history of that? Does it stem from some of the attempted reunifications after the Great Schism?

      1. It originated when Western Ukraine was under the rule of the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The population was under a lot of pressure to convert to Catholicism, so they ended up breaking away from the Ukrainian Orthodox and becoming a Uniate Church– keeping the Orthodox rites, but accepting the authority of the Vatican.

        There are several similar Uniate churches throughout Eastern Europe and Lebanon. I don’t know what distinguishes them from each other.

        And I don’t know why they ‘Greek’ in the name, unless it’s meant simply to show that they still follow Orthodox rituals.

      2. Greek Catholic was spawned from Polish Catholic dominance of Ukrainian Orthodox lands.

    2. Oh, I always thought your name was a reference to Chesterton, but apparently it’s because you’re a Greek Katholic Churchgoer.

  12. Hey, its hard out there for a Pope.

    1. Don’t make him smack you with his pope hand. That piscatory ring looks pretty hefty.

  13. Hey, Ed. Communism in and of itself is a bridge to far for this Pope, no less just that crucifix. If you had read the encyclical you would know that. He makes it clear right in that work. But that doesn’t stop you from speaking about it, does it?

    1. I think you are remarkably well spoken with the popes dick in your mouth.

  14. Oh, look, Jackass dead thread -fucking. Maybe he’s a Tony sock.

  15. The pope curried that kind of selective support by tapping anti-capitalist Naomi Klein for upcoming climate talks. But, as A. Barton Hinkle wrote earlier this week, the left’s embrace of religious justification for public policy only applies when it leads to bigger government.

    Why does this sound like the third (fifth?) act of a Neal Stephenson novel, when a confluence of crazies come together in a spectacular convocation of inanity and a carnival-like atmosphere punctuated by long, tedious disquisitions on millennia-old spiritual text?

    1. Well, it explains the cheeky names. When I look at Max Boot or Peter King or Sandra Fluke or F. King Alexander or Rand Paul (come on, mix objectivist thought and NT xian thought and you get…), or Preetinder (it’s not quite Hiro, but come on) Bharara or D. Storm Roof or whatever, I suspect that we’re living a fictional reality of some sort. And anyway, Roof was a New South Africa reference. Even my own name is a little cheeky, given my deep and abiding hatred for commies.

      Actually, Hillary and Hera sound sort of similar, so I think that might be a reference too…

      I have to admit that they’re more fun to read than live.

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