Saturday, April 27, 2013

Peronism in the Apostolic Palace?

A political journalist friend of mine said, "If you want to understand Pope Francis, you have to understand Peronism". Certainly, Argentina's press seem to want to paint him as a Peronist.

Not being Argentinian, I don't understand it but it is something that can embrace the Kirchners but also those who oppose them. It seems to be about a strong (and benign) populist leader, who sets out to gain mass support, the message is simple: the national good, national harmony, national solidarity, an appeal to the majority, to the workers, in other words "the poor".

Peronism was Argentina's own response to the dictatorships of Europe. If one subtracts the Hitler pact, racism and the castor oil of pre-war Mussolini, who got the trains running on time, virtually destroyed the Mafia, brought about a sense of hope, economic well being, vitality and national pride, might well be more accessible model for Europeans. Mussolini was essentially a moderniser, who re-presented the dream of the ancient Rome. Someone once suggested that Mussolini modelled himself as a secular Pope and to some degree Pius XII modelled himself on Mussolini.

I am certainly not suggesting that Papa Bergoglio is a latter day Mussolini but getting the Church's trains running on time, getting rid of corruption, regaining the masses seems to be his mandate. The message of simplicity, or in fact simplifying the message, popularising, de-intellectualising seems to be what we have seen so far.

Despite the Tablet and other journals, Archbishop Piero Marini and a few other Curial members, the German Bishops, even our own Bishops, to some extent, presentation of Francis seems to want to present him as a break with Benedict, apart from the outward signs of Papacy, there doesn't seem to be a doctrinal rift, on the contrary Francis seems, in the best sense of the phrase, the poor man's Pope Benedict, speaking to the masses rather than an elite. In deed the announcement this week that he intends to complete Benedict's  encyclical on Faith seems to suggest continuation rather than rupture.

Even when he speaks to the Cardinals as he did on St George's day his message ended simply, "Avanti! Avanti!", (which might well ring bells, of good or ill, with certain Italians) or to biblical scholars, he seems more concerned to communicate to the doorman or the cleaners or the security men, or those beyond his immediate audience, to the masses.


nickbris said...

Plenty in Wikipedia about Eva Peron; Francis could also be called a Chavezista.

gemoftheocean said...

"forward" - the battle cry of every left-wing tinpot murderous dictator. Obama is bad enough adopting that as his slogan, but Pope Francis needs babysitting too? God, give me strength.

parepidemos said...

gemoftheocean, Consider the likes of Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Idi Amin, Hastings Banda, Robert Mugabe, Manuel Noriega as well as the various presidents of South Africa, Argentina and El Salvador. The left-wing does not have a monopoly on tin-pot murderous dictatorship.

As for President Obama, many in the UK would see him as being politically to right of David Cameron; indeed most Democratic politicians would be considered rather right-wing in UK eyes.

Pablo the Mexican said...

I think you are confusing 'poor' with 'poor'.

In Modernism 'poor' equals someone that cannot send their children to private boarding school, or has to purchase a new car every two years instead of one.

Someone who had a third child because the vasectomy did not take.

They now are 'poor' because they have a burden of an unwanted child.

'Poor' in Catholicism means poor in spirit.

Having recently traveled across Mexico through its most impoverished areas, I got a good look at 'poor'.

These folks were deep root Catholics.

As I traveled the Modern areas, those touched by the Second Vatican Council and Modern 'Poor', I saw a tragic loss of souls and an inculcation of Gnosticism within the Modernist Catholics.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Pray for the Holy Father.


John Nolan said...

Parepidemos, the only right-wing figure on your list of dictators is Franco.

JARay said...

I would have to disagree in lumping Francisco Franco with the likes of Hitler as a "tinpot murderous dictator". Spain under Franco was a much better Spain than what followed his demise. I have in my possession a book entitled "The Last Crusade" and its author saw Franco in the tradition of the Crusaders and I would agree with him. He rescued the Church from a vile persecution in which somewhere in the region of 9,000 priests and nuns were martyred. I see the persecution in Spain as following the persecution in Mexico under President Calle. I do recommend seeing the video "For Greater Glory" which portrays that persecution in Mexico.

Fr Seán Coyle said...

I am heartened by Pope Francis' homily last Sunday when he ordained ten priests. An extract: 'Remember too that the word of God is not your property: it is the word of God. And the Church is the custodian of the word of God'.

In his homily on the feast of St George he said: 'Let us think of Mother Church, who is increasing, growing with new children to whom she gives the identity of faith, for one cannot believe in Jesus without the Church. Jesus himself says so in the Gospel: but you do not believe because you do not belong to my sheep (cf. Jn 10:26). Unless we are "Jesus’ sheep", faith does not come; it is a faith which is watered down, insubstantial . . . Let us ask the Lord for this apostolic fervor which impels us to move forward, as brothers and sisters, all of us: forward! Forward, bearing the name of Jesus in the bosom of holy Mother Church, as Saint Ignatius said, hierarchical and Catholic. Amen'.

We can find Jesus Christ and hear his word only in the Church.

And his 'Avanti, avanti!' calls to mind for me 'Caritas Christi urget nos','the love of Christ controls us' in the RSV CE translation.

gemoftheocean said...

pare====you are so infected with left wing ideology, everything seems right wing to you. The abortion loving Obama is as far left as any NATIONAL SOCIALIST.

The UK hasn't had a major conservative political party for a long time. You have no clue what real conservatives look like. Cameron is a pathetic joke.

johnf said...

Professor Sir Martin Gilbert, the distinguished historian and Churchill's biographer gave an interesting talk at La Jolla some years ago recounting the stories of those who helped the Jews during the Second World War.

Although it cannot be claimed that Mussolini helped the Jews, he refused to deport them to Germany, to the frustration of the Nazis. It was only after the fall of Mussolini when the Germans took control, that deportations began.

Gilbert, who is Jewish himself is also a strong defender of the actions of Pius XII during this period, recounting how at very short notice he arranged for Jews in Rome to be smuggled away into Convents, Monasteries etc. there were still deportations unfortunately but the majority in Rome were saved.

All this has now prompted me to buy his book "Righteous"

Delia said...

I misread your heading as 'Petronism'!

Amfortas said...

Gem, you seem equally infected with right wing ideology. We must be wary of earthly powers of all stripes that threaten human dignity and freedom.

And to identify Franco with the Crusaders is fanciful. He well have defeated the powers of darkness in the guise of the Republicans but at what cost?

parepidemos said...

gemoftheocean, Why did you resort to an ad hominem attack in response to my comment?

johnallen, I would very much like you to explain why dictators such as Mussolini, Noriega, Amin, Banda, de Klerk and Mugabe were not right-wing.

Patricius said...

Apostolic Palace?
Domus Marta, surely!

GOR said...

I think comparing Pope Francis’ approach to Peronism is rather shallow - but not unexpected from the world of secular journalism, which has a hard time understanding the supernatural. The man is moved by Faith, not secular philanthropy. He takes his cues from Our Lord - and St. Francis - not from any merely human ideology.

One of the things Pope Benedict sought to hammer home repeatedly was the need for humility and simplicity in understanding and practicing our Faith. In so many words he maintained it is not ‘rocket science’. It is not the province merely of theologians, intellectuals and the ‘wise’ - but open to all, especially the “little ones”.

While some may have missed that message from Pope Benedict, concentrating more on his intellectual gifts and professorial background, it was there in his words and writings. It was always impressive how he could tailor his message to his audience – from First Communion children to tenured members of academia.

Pope Francis comes from a different background, more pastoral than intellectual. But the message is the same – humility and simplicity of faith, living what we profess to believe and actions instead of just words.

Two Popes, coming from very different backgrounds, but with the same message – the message of the Gospel.

Fr Ray Blake said...


He is resident in both.

He sleeps at the Domus but works, receives visitors etc at the Palace.

johnf said...

Sir Martin Gilbert's lecture to the University of san Diego can be found in this link

His account of Mussolini's refusal to deport Jews to germany can be found 43 minutes into the presentation

nickbris said...

The Gallilean fishermen at the time of Jesus were the poorest people in the whole World.They were so poor that not a single artifact belonging to them has ever been found,they never even had a pot.

These were the people who Jesus picked to spread the word,the keystones

parepidemos said...

GOR & nickbris, I completely agree with what you have both said.

Anonymous said...

We are from Brazil and know quite about Mexico and other Latin America countries. And also, USA, France and some european countries due to my past professional activities , when I had to be in all this countries very frequently and during quite long stays( weeks).
We agree 100% with "Pablo the mexican".
Today ( actually goes back to some 20 years or more) the "poor" that the Church referes to ( very wiselly) is a different type of "poor" that the world/media/politics refer to.
The second type of "poor" is only a tremendous mass of maneuver for the left and center or right demagoci an self interested politicians.
The "poor" are much richer than our fathers and richer than we were 20 or 30 years ago,( even in many europeans) countries.
So what is happening is that the secular media in alliance with inflitrated marxists into the Church ( and there are a lot, perhaps 50% of clergy, bishops, cardinals in Brazil)are quite simply ( no big intelligence to see, only some plain observation)instrumentalizing ( "using" ) the "poor" to their power projects, gay marriage, abort legislation and all the "et ceteras".

Kirt Higdon said...

I don't see Pope Francis as being Peronist although in Argentina the term and movement are broad enough to cover a lot of ground. The left Peronists, the friends and allies of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, attacked Pope Francis slanderously after his election, but then had to back off when they saw they were only making themselves look bad. Pope Francis has criticized the left Peronists for their past terrorism and their present endorsement of condoms for kids and homosexual "marriage.

Well, is Pope Francis perhaps a right Peronist? The best example of that would be Juan Peron himself, the Juan Peron who collected teenage mistresses and was excommunicated for unleashing union thugs to trash the national cathedral in Buenos Aires. Somehow I don't think Francis falls in this category either.

If all it takes to be considered a Peronist is expressing concern for the poor, then practically the whole world should be considered Peronist.

Pastor in Monte said...

Thank you, Father, a very useful and thoughtful post and thread.

Hughie said...

I think most people are missing the point about Pope Francis. Forget his avoidance of the trappings of the Papacy; forget his seeming emphasis on his being Bishop of Rome; he seems to me to be trying to highlight what he considers to be the most important aspect of his life:he is first, last ans always a priest. As simple, and as complex, as that. I think that he has asked himself how, given the cross he has been asked to bear, he can still live out the vocation he aspired to on the day of his priestly ordination.

Woody said...

Here is a link to a couple of actual Peronist documents, a speech by Juan Peron, and a 20 Points statement of his philosophy.

Also, somewhere, I think in another one of Peron's speeches, I read him saying something very much like "we must go out to the peripheries."

I report, you decide. I am now returning to meditate using our Holy Father's words from today's Mass.

Sadie Vacantist said...

Spain's history is unique in so much as it has been written by the losers and not the winners.

Gratias said...

Google "Bergoglio Peronista" and many articles in Spanish will be retrieved. Pope Francis was a Peronist. Peronismo was a demagogic movement redistributing undeserved gifts to the shirtless descamisados. Like Hugo Chavez today. This fundamentally fascist movement set back Argentina by 70 years. They still worship General Peron and Evita there, even though civil liberties were lost. There is no good Peronista, I fear.

Sadie Vacantist said...

Is David Cameron a cultural Marxist implementing a policy of communism for the rich? Perhaps we need some new labels and the World perhaps needs another Gramsci to provide them.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

speaking too......let the best Freudian loose on poor PFI and we've got an entity framed by the world rather than by 'God'. the being framed by God isn't one whose eyes and ears are consumed by what every eye and ear is consumed with...which has little or no patience for what is shared between humans rather than between humans and dogs... leaning towards human atrocities like;...meaning...eternal justice/salvation...things that don't concern rats, mosquitoes, or your random humanist.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

oi...a bloke for whom the best of Godly 'thinking' was understood as a non-godly ideology...but since we're only nefesh behamit (animal souls(go aristoltotle)..the animal soul...not the 'Godly' soul afforded to us humans. I read a story of mama cat who ran in to a house on fire to save her kittens. She suffered burns which she ultitmiatey didn't survive, though the wee mites she's dragged out did. So what, should I honour her over Christ?...we don't fricken need a messiah if we're just survival meat. If you read some Rabbinic concepts of Ha Moshiach's meaning in real terms; is in no way constrained to the, dares to speak to the uniquely human which the Church seems for tooo long to find appalling.

Mike Cliffson said...

FR, folks:
Sorry, but to me this, comments especially, looks footling.
Dunno exactly what your journalist friend meant, but if someone said "you can't understand Woytila without understanding WWII National Socialist German occupation and (russianimposed but locally administered Marxist-Leninist Rule)", would you necessarily infer that JohnPaul II personally WAS a diedinthewool convinced doctrinaire Socialist somewhere on the nazi to communist spectrum? Or Just say "He's a Polish priest and Bishop, coulda bin a 16th century one, or 2rd generation USA Polack, same difference"?
(I remember some people DID just that when he happily used the Marxist-pushed , if not invented , term of "Alienation" in what he wrote for us.Or his particular concern for workers.)
Argentine Peronism has the difference that it was homegrown, sure, but you can't detatch modern Argentina from it, not even as far down the road as nearly The HolyFather's own lifespan.
His whole life has been spent (barring a few months' study in Germany,) in his home country, where he has been a highly contested public figure for decades. I suspect that, whilst this probably demonstrably affects his habitual discourse, it did not there LIMIT him nor now pigeonholes him, any more than it did JPII. We shall have to see.

One thing - possibly in Peronist language, I dont't know, practically everything in Argentina can be read in code and dogwhispering, you can't so much as say the date without people reading something into it, - that The then Archbish of BA quite recently annoyed the present Argentine Govmt about was pointing out that calling spending labelled "for the welfare of the poor" is not necessarily so, that in fact the poor will only see 1% of it , it may even be counterproductive, since it will go on ministries and inspectors and nomenclature high salaries and expoense accounts and quangos and costs and jobs for the boys and corruption and etc.
A point I would like to see sink in to not only Anglican Bishops' heads this side of the Atlantic.

AND Chavez and Franco are, for different reasons, nearly complete red herrings.Pink herrings, maybe.

susan said...

nickbris said...
"The Gallilean fishermen at the time of Jesus were the poorest people in the whole World.They were so poor that not a single artifact belonging to them has ever been found,they never even had a pot.
These were the people who Jesus picked to spread the word,the keystones."

St. Peter had one of the nicest (certainly one of the biggest) houses in Capernaum. He was fairly wealthy for the time and had partners in a very successful business, one of which was Zebedee. (We can assume that St. Andrew shared in this bounty, and we can doubly assume they had many pots(!)) Zebedee's family (St's John and James the greater included) were relatively wealthy and well-connected, having influence and 'in' with the high priestly class. St. Matthew was a very wealthy tax-collector. The others were never mentioned as being particularly or specifically 'poor'. Did they eventually give it up to be Christ's chosen and sent Apostles?...yes? But was poverty a prerequisite to the calling?...emphatically no.

Without the women of means who followed Christ and gave of their means for the upkeep of His ministry, things would have been much different. The ministry of the 13 (Christ+the Apostles) had a money purse (from which Judas stole). People of some means were Christ's friends also, and He stayed with them often; Lazarus, Martha and Mary come to mind. Not all are called to vows of strict poverty to be true disciples of Christ.

We have got to stop this irreverent idolization of poverty for poverty's is a baal of populism. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil; but having money, providing well for one's family, and doing good with one's money in helping others (while concomitantly sharing the Gospel message with them; Corporal without Spiritual Works of Mercy are hollow) can be a very holy existence. Enough with the 'dirt-floors, good', 'low taxes, bad' mentality and preaching. It is neither Scriptural nor pious.

nickbris said...

Quite right Susan and the Three Kings brought along some gold which would have been handy in Egypt.

susan said...

nickbris, having a point would help your point.

Frederick Jones said...

According to Reitlinger in "The Final Solution" Franco saved the lives of Sephardic Jews by claiming that they belonged to Spain. In number I think they were more than, under the quota system, were admitted as refugees to the USA.

Gerhardt Reitlinger like Martin Gilbert is a distinguished Jewish historian with no anti-catholic axe to grind.

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