Catholics in Argentina celebrated this Monday the tenth anniversary of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Supreme Pontiff, a historic event whose echoes still resonate in his native Buenos Aires and which opened a unique stage in the universal Church.
“The Argentine Church manifests great joy, with the affective bond that unites us to who our Cardinal Bergoglio was,” said Mario Poli, Cardinal Primate of Argentina and his successor as Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
In the homily of the solemn thanksgiving mass that he presided at the Buenos Aires Cathedral, Poli highlighted various aspects of the path traced by Francis for the Church in these times, including salient points of his social teaching.
«Francisco has facilitated bridges of dialogue with peoples, cultures and with men of science and politics. Francisco’s social magisterium proposes to be co-responsible for the common home and supposes a new look at creation from an integral ecology”, he highlighted.
He also recalled that the Pope has “listened to the most fragile and neglected”, proposing “a great action program that he called ‘land, roof, work'”, an ideal that “is part of his proposal for integral human development.”
“Guided by the logic of the Gospel, the Pope has invited us several times to take a broad look at the marginality and complex diversity that we live in, because, as he has said these days, Jesus wants everyone within the Gospel,” he said.
FROM ARGENTINA TO THE WORLD
In the cathedral that was the seat of Bergoglio as archbishop of Buenos Aires from 1998 until his departure for the March 2013 conclave in Rome, the echoes of that memorable March 13 a decade ago in which the “boat of Peter” still resonate was at the helm of an Argentine.
Mariano Tomatis, a layman committed to serving the Church and a member of the Legion of Mary Catholic movement, does not forget that day in which he followed the conclave from his workplace.
“I felt a deep joy. I had always dreamed of seeing an Argentine pope,” Tomatis told EFE.
He knew Bergoglio personally, he traveled to Rome to attend the ceremony of the beginning of the pontificate on March 19, 2013, and he rescues Francis’ proposal of a “Church open and close to all”.
“The Pope always says that there is no Church of saints, the Church is for sinners and it is for everyone. I highlight this attitude of opening the doors of the Church and being a Church that goes out, in the street, to re-evangelize”, he maintained.
Tomatis was one of the many Catholics from Buenos Aires who came this Monday to participate in a prayer in the cathedral to give thanks for the pontificate of Francisco and to pray especially for the intentions of the supreme pontiff at the same time that ten years ago he was elected dad.
The rector of the cathedral, the priest Alejandro Russo, repeated the words of the French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran who on the afternoon of that March 13 announced from San Pedro to the whole world: “Habemus Papam.”
That afternoon only a handful of parishioners were in the Buenos Aires cathedral praying for the future of the conclave and they received the “Georgium Marium Bergoglio” with an “initial paralysis” that soon gave way to “the confusion of joy,” Russo recalled.
“We had given our archbishop to the whole world,” he said.
Cardinal Poli did not hide the desire of the Church in Argentina to receive Francis’s visit, but noted that the pope has so far visited “countries where the Christian community is a minority” and where “his presence” is “a mediator of peace and a bearer of peace.” of a conciliatory message, as he did on his last trip to the Congo and South Sudan”.
“Tireless worker of Peace, today he is concerned about the bloody war between Russia and Ukraine and its possible global projection, he does not stop raising his voice to promote the culture of encounter through dialogue,” said the cardinal.
Poli highlighted that Francis, in his old age, “does not lose his good humor” and, “even with limitations in his mobility, he continues to work for a synodal Church, which lives in authentic communion and recovers the sweet joy of evangelizing, even when it is necessary to sow in tears.” EFE