|1952 Argentinian Artist's |
Rendering of Evita as a Saint
He was not, as originally reported by Reuters, an advocate of redistributionist Marxist "Liberation Theology," they tell us.
And his stated endorsement of same sex civil unions, was merely a tactical ruse to stave off same sex marriage, they said.
Whatever it is he really believes, the new Pontiff from the Pampas is certainly a grand master of the "Grand Gesture."
First, he addressed his Cardinal colleagues from a casual position on the floor, rather than from the customary elevated Papal dais.
Then he spent Holy Thursday washing the feet of Italian female jailbirds and a Moslem woman, whose Imam would likely just as soon slit his infidel throat as look at him.
So what better Grand Gesture for this showboating Pope than to resurrect the efforts to canonize his fellow countryman, Eva Peron?
I say resurrect, rather than initiate, because it is a little known fact that the excitable mestizo Roman Catholics of Argentina, caught up in a frenzy of religious fervor, actually proposed this on August 1st of 1952.
The iron willed prostitute of La Plata had just kicked the bucket and according to John Barnes' definitive 1978 biography, Evita - First Lady (p.167):
"On August 1, 1952, the (Argentinian) Union of Food Workers cabled Pope Pius XII asking 'in the name of 160,000 members that Your Holiness initiate the process of canonisation of Eva Peron.' To support this request, the union told of a little girl paying her last respects who said:'Eva was a saint. I know because she cured my mother.' It added, 'Many sick are now well, many sorrowful are happy because of her.'"
Pius XII's curia, it seems, did not share the Argentinians' enthusiasm.
|Eva Peron addressing|
Falangists in Madrid
Apparently they were not thrilled at the prospect of Sainthood for a vindictive shrew, who despite almost no evident thespian talent, rode the casting couch to Argentine movie stardom (Evita died at age 33 of a uterine cancer often associated with botched abortions) and who made front pages world-wide by returning the fascist salute to an adoring throng of General Francisco Franco's Falangist brigades from a balcony in Madrid.
But with 42 per cent of worldwide Catholics resident in South America, I say, go ahead and canonize her. It would conform to the populist zeitgeist of this highly comic age.
Sure, she threw uncooperative journalists and Congressmen in jail and pandered to labor union thugs. Sure she engineered the destruction of the Argentinian economy with wild redistribution of ever dwindling national wealth. Sure she was to jewelry what Imelda Marcos would later become to shoes.
But she was adored by the poor and this Pope says he's all for the poor.
And besides her aforementioned post-mortem miracle work, her body lies in an absolutely incorrupt state -- another proof of Saintliness (and also of the superb embalming skills of a Spanish pathologist, one Dr. Pedro Ara.)
So I say, let's start the canonization process for Evita right now!
She already has a swell song about her, courtesy of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Think of the money and effort that would save on the composition of new hymns.
And it would be another Grand Gesture for this new 2nd World Pope.
Here is a video montage of St. Evita assembled by an adoring Argentinian fan (it contains some very creepy shots of her perfectly preserved body lying in its crypt.) It is accompanied by the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber's No llores por mi Argentina: