Pope Francis Doesn’t Want The Devil’s Money — Rejects Shocking Amount In Donations
Pope Francis rejected donation from Argentina
The already cold relationship between the two most prominent Argentinian figures — Pope Francis and Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri — just had a frosty encounter after Pope Francis rejected a donation from his home country’s government, because the sum was diabolic.
It was not that the sum was too high or too low, nor that it came with an evil intent. The donation was for $1.2 million dollars, which is equivalent to $16,666,000 in Argentinian pesos. The donation was destined for the Scholas Occurentes an educational foundation backed by the Pope; it is based on a similar organization that was also founded by Pope Francis when he was cardinal of Buenos Aires. According to The Guardian, the Vatican Insider said the Pope wrote to the Argentinian branch of the Scholas Occurentes foundation to ask them to return the money with a message saying:
“I don’t like the 666.”
The funds from the center-right Argentinian government of Mauricio Macri were intended to cover the cost of maintaining the organization’s Buenos Aires headquarters while also providing salaries for 36 members of its staff. However, the offer was rebuffed in a letter by the foundation’s directors, Jose Maraa del Corral and Enrique Palmeyro, who according to RT wrote:
“Taking into account that some may try to distort this institutional gesture, with the aim of creating confusion and sowing division among Argentines, we agree on suspending the non-refundable contribution fee amounting to 16,666,000.”
Diabolic superstitions aside, the rejection of the government’s donation may actually be related to the opposing views of Macri and the Pope. Pope Francis has been a strong supporter of progressive causes in Argentina and around the globe, which has positioned him on the opposite side of the spectrum from Macri, whose economic and social stances have angered the Pope on several occasions.
In this case, it is believed that the Pope was particularly irritated with the donation when the Argentinian media tried presenting it as a sign of improving relations between the two Argentinian leaders. However, the Argentinian government has declared that the return of the donation will not cause any ill will. According to Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, who met with the Pope on Monday:
“There is no animosity towards the president. It was a very rich, very natural conversation, with no calling of accounts or enormous philosophical differences.”
While some of the Pope’s followers believe the donation sum was an intentional troll from Macri (since 666 is widely recognized as the Number of the Beast, the Devil or the Antichrist), others believe it was an attempt to buy the influence of the Pope and to seize an opportunity to capitalize on his massive popularity. Juan Grabois, a Vatican advisor said:
“The 16 million didn’t sound good. Whoever thinks that by giving money, especially public funds to a foundation directly or indirectly linked to Francis, is making a gesture to the Pope, is stupid.”
It seems that the relation between the Pope and Argentina’s president isn’t any closer to improving, and it will certainly not happen with money as long as the economic policies in Argentina do not change; in particular an austerity measure applied by Macri that the Pope believes should be addressed before. But was it really that, or this modern Pope is superstitious?
Featured image from Dustin Ginetz via Flickr