Peter Hart | F.A.I. R. | March 15, 2013
Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen as the new pope this week. But coverage often glossed over the most intense political controversies about him.
On NBC Nightly News (3/13/13), the network’s Vatican analyst George Weigel told viewers that Pope Francis was “a man of God… a man who is a great defender of democracy in a country where democracy is under real stress right now in Argentina.”
He went on:
He is a very, very warm gentleman. I spent an hour with him in Buenos Aires last May. I was touched by his intelligence, by his manifestly deep interior life, his spiritual life. Got a very clear-eyed view of the troubled politics of his own country.
It’s hard to know exactly what Weigel means by the “stress” and “troubled politics” in Argentina. The major political dispute Bergoglio was involved in was his fervent opposition to gay marriage, which he called a “destructive attack on God’s plan.” Argentine democracy thought otherwise, and the senate passed a marriage equality law.