Take off your little face

The war in Ukraine has served to remove the mask from more than one. “Take off your little face because I want to meet you”, Gardel sang, and, certainly, in this war we have begun to know and recognize many.

We are back on the Cold War map. For the Eastern bloc, which responds to Russia, the position has improved in Latin America. Before, sure, it was only Cuba but now Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, the co-ruler Kircherism in Argentina, the “favorite” Lula in Brazil, the Uruguayan Broad Front, and all those who respond to the San Pablo Forum have joined. And there are some that appear with half-closed masks such as Chile, Peru, El Salvador, Honduras and of course Mexico, which has always used more than one mask, which it uses as appropriate, behavior that everyone knows but that has worsened with López Obrador. .

But perhaps in this bloody carnival provoked by Putin, the role played so far by Pope Francis has been the most unhappy. He is about the Head of the Catholic Church and a war, “cruel and senseless” “that threatens the whole world” as he himself has said. Of course, he said it almost two months after the invasion. Did you also expect Putin to solve it in 4 or 5 days? Only after three weeks did the Pontiff make more or less specific references to the conflict. The president of Ukraine, Zelensky, asked him more than once to go to kyiv, but the answer has been that he would have to meet with Putin first. To ask permission?

Apart from calls to prayer and wishes for peace, Francis at one point questioned Kirill, Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Moscow and Russia, of whom he said “he cannot become Putin’s altar boy.” The warning is good -which has generated great tension in the hitherto excellent relations between the two churches-, but it is also true that the Pope has never condemned Putin.

Worse yet, Francis has said that “NATO’s barking at Russia’s gates” may have led Putin to trigger the conflict. Those “barks” according to the Pope did not provoke, if they facilitated Putin’s anger. You look? The same thesis of Evo Morales, Lula and the São Paulo Forum: NATO is to blame.

What the Pope also implies a harsh warning for Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Sweden and Finland in case they take any steps to defend their sovereignty. For the Pope, this is barking, which would explain an action of “self-defense” and the “anger of Putin and the Russians.”

Francis is not surprising. Less if we compare it with how other popes and the Church have done in the past in similar circumstances. Like he’s always been waiting to see what happens. And who wins.

Albert Camus,

78 years ago in Combat he lamented the Church’s delay in condemning in “clear terms the exploits of dictatorships.” Our secret votes -wrote the Nobel Prize for Literature when commenting on the Church’s delayed position “in favor of democracy”- “were that this be said at the very moment that evil triumphed. “…we wanted to believe and admire.” “We wanted the spirit to pronounce itself before the force came to support it and agree with it.” There are things that change little, as we see. I think, however, that Francisco does worse.

Albert Camus- Chronicles 1944-1953.

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Take off your little face