As we slowly return to our daily routine after a few days of fun and sun(burn), government officials are back to dealing with what they know how to do best in this country: putting out fires.
This morning, it was the turn of Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña who, while offering a press conference, had to comment on one of the first big controversies of the year: the infamous papal snub (or why Pope Francis is seemingly avoiding an official visit to Argentina). The local population remains undecided. Some say it’s because he’s not a fan of Mauricio Macri, others say he’s just busy.
However, the Macri administration is apparently brushing it off as a matter of the Pope’s busy schedule rather than animosity towards the President.
“There’s no political issue here. Argentina is his home, his land. He doesn’t need our invitation. We will be waiting for him with our hearts and arms open when he decides it’s the best time to visit us,” Peña told reporters this morning.
“It would be great if he could come, but we respect his times and his decision-making process,” the Cabinet Chief added. He also suggested we should all take a step back and understand the historic importance of having a Latin American Pope.
“Let’s not bring him to the political area,” he asked.
Whatever the case may be, yesterday’s telegram (in English!) from the Pope to President Mauricio Macri while flying over Argentina didn’t help, as many grew frustrated with what sounded like a standard, formal message from the Pontiff towards the Argentine people that, contrary to many who got their hopes up, didn’t announce his intentions to come visit.