Press Conference with Guzmàn Carriquiry e Josè Maria “Pepe” Di Paola

Press Meeting

“We went through From the intellectual enjoyment for the high Benedict’s theological teaching we proceeded to the pleasure of the grammar of simplicity with Pope Francis. After the way of the cross to which the bishop emeritus of Rome was subjected, Pope Bergoglio’s explosion of joy and hope is a sign that the Providence has identified the pope which our times require”. In the press conference at 1 p.m., Guzman Carriquiry, secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, addressed the topic of the relationship Benedict – Francis, warning that, the obsessive contrast between the two men of the Church, “with his Pharisaic judgments and detractions”, is the devil’s job.
According to Carriquiry we are going to live “a time of changes in personnel and facilities within the Church”, because Francis is doing much of what Benedict didn’t manage to do. According to him, however, it would be short-sighted to just stare at “the change of shoes or the disassembling of the pompous apparatus of the Vatican’s representative.” Behind every choice there is a message of faith. Carriquiry remembered when, in Rio, the pope renounced the armored car. To those who pointed out that the security had its costs, Francis replied that “everyone has the hour that he was assigned by Providence” and that “the greatest certainty is the affection of one’s own people”.
Bergoglio’s pontificate will bring positive consequences on the relationship between Catholics and Evangelicals in Latin America too. “When he was bishop in Buenos Aires – said the secretary of the Pontifical Commission – once a month, raising controversy, he used to go praying with some of the cream of the crop among evangelical pastors and so, when he took strong positions, Protestants supported him openly. Today, the pope continues to receive great sympathy among evangelicals, without the need of negotiating about belonging”. Francis, in his recent trip to Brazil, asked the bishops of Celam to question the reasons for the escape of so many Catholics to Protestant sects. According Carriquiry, Francis will be able to take back home many of those who are gone, “without the need of taking an aggressive attitude but only by showing the beauty of the faith.”
The press conference was also attended by Jose Maria “Pepe” Di Paola, pastor of Villa 21 which is one of the poorest and most dangerous boroughs of Buenos Aires, holding the sad record of drug dealing throughout Argentina. Prior to his election, Bergoglio was always on the side of “Pepe” and the other priests of the villas miserias. “Today, of course, the Pope can not follow us more closely as he once did – debuted Father Di Paola – but he continues to call some priests and make us feel his presence.” Father “Pepe” made it clear that the experience of parish priests of villas miserias doesn’t come from the “theology of liberation”, which it has taken some positive aspects of. The key to the “villa” experience is the “theology of the people”: to live among the people without the need of too many words. “Our work – said the priest – and our pastoral construction arise from the the people’s eyes of faith and not from a theory.”
As for relations with Bolivians, Paraguayans and Ecuadorians immigrants, Father Di Paola spoke of common religious and linguistic roots, which are not entirely able to prevent from the prejudices. However they also facilitate welcoming and sharing. Among other things, Catholics who came from Paraguay have revitalized the faith in different areas of Argentina.