Love, Rosaries, God and the Virgin. We all heard her in her last public appearance in the Plaza de Mayo on a Thursday of patriotic memories, before some 400,000 souls who endured the autumn rain, and where hours before -in the Tedeum (Prayer to God)- for the first time a President of the Nation take the microphone inside the Buenos Aires Cathedral. The candidate comes in that holiness. And he is none other than the most beloved and well-known priest in Argentina: Father Pepe.
THE PEOPLE ANOINT
Pepe, who just turned 61 (May 12, bullfighting), was born in the middle class of the Caballito neighborhood and studied at the “Dámaso Centeno”, the same military high school that Charly Garcia and Nitro Mestre. Its spiritual, social and of course political projection, although not partisan, occurred in the periphery. His work can be seen on the edge of the Riachuelo, in Villa 21-24 and Zavaleta, on the old lands that were used for “burning”. Is that where his fanaticism for Huracán will come from? Around the large factories, the townspeople adopted him, anointed him and, in his spiritual resurrection, made him the main heir of Carlos Mugica, although not the only one. Mugica was the blond, blue-eyed villero priest with a black leather jacket who was an emblem of the so-called Third World priests. He died shot in 1974 at the exit of a mass, becoming a martyr priest of the decimated generation.
The father’s legacy arose in the town and hand in hand with Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He was precisely together with the then cardinal primate and archbishop of Buenos Aires and during a foot washing on Good Friday when everything changed: that day the Homes of Christ, the device of the Catholic Church organized by the village priests to receive life as it comes, to the last of the last, addicted to paco and other drugs.
To celebrate 15 years of the call Large Family of the Hogares de Cristoabout 200 throughout the country, the campaign began “Not one kid less for drugs”. There were two great events last year for the church, one in Luján, at the foot of the Virgin of the Gaucha, and another later in the Luna Park stadium, which began a pilgrimage throughout the country. Everything was led by Pepe. He was transformative. Because in the provinces there were overflows of people who wanted to hear him, see him, be close to him.
That federal pilgrimage, with a reception by several governors, crowned it at the end before the feet of the patron saint of Argentina. It was on the hot Saturday, March 11, at the Luján Cabildo where Pepe summoned the entire ruling class. From the President of the Nation, leaders of Together for Change, mayors, the core of CGT secretaries to leaders of popular movements, all united in the signing of “Not one kid less for drugs”. The day before Pepe had visited Cristina in his office in the Senate. Alone. There the vice president put her signature to the anti-drug campaign in defense of the excluded.
There began the dream, low, of the candidate for unity, the most coherent apostle of the postulates of the Argentine leader in the world, representative on earth of the oldest and most numerous human organization in the West.
Pepe brings together the leadership of an organized community. It is not all statism, nor anything with the State. It is the unity of the State working and building itself as such together with the people that is organized in each territory, with the provincial presidents, the communal chiefs, twinning with the territorial institutions: schools, chapels and clubs, as a development society, a cultural center , a dining room or picnic area. In short, the free organizations of the people together with a national government that falls in love with its conduct of life. Pepe is the gospel in flesh and blood. He is authentic. Not a marketing campaign.
Putting the Homeland on his shoulder, Pepe has been doing it without being from electoral politics, but he does politics. Every day for 30 years building from the villas, from the peripheries, where he sits at the same table with Angelo Calcaterrathe cousin of Mauricio Macri, to receive donations, such as celebrating a mass for the disappeared and at the altar making the CGT human rights secretary speak, Julio Piumatoor the general secretary of the Union of Workers of the Popular Economy (UTEP), Esteban “Gringo” Castro. This is the time of a father who leads the family, the paternal figure of tender care, concerned for the other, to the point of living with the poorest.
Cristina was very explicit in Pablo Duggan’s television report by C5N, when she repeated under her breath, to the clamor of the people who want her as a candidate, “it’s a litany.” Let’s see what it means: “Dialogue prayer made up of a series of brief supplications or invocations to God or to the saints that one person recites or sings and that the other people who participate in the prayer repeat or answer”.
Cristina spoke with gestures in that television interview. It wasn’t just the words. There was a moment when the director of the “Duro de Mar” program focused on the essence in a very close-up. The hands of a woman, of a leader, mother and grandmother, who did not caress the Rosary, but pulled it, It seemed that she was imploring a new miracle from God, not to save herself, but to save the Homeland.
Pepe is the lamb that defeats the lion. David facing Goliath. The chosen one of God that has nothing to do with what is expected by the power of the world. A humble figure that defeats the giant, in appearances.
In the high summits of politics they know that a candidate from the same fishbowl does not fall in love. That he must have a broad back to stand before the world of international finance. Pepe’s credibility is unquestionable for all national political sectors. He is joined by the support of Pope Francis, who recognizes him as an “example of a priest who consults the people.”
The lack of credibility of the politics of these times, which leads to a three-thirds election, is disarmed with Pepe.
He unites in a patriotic sense, an admired in his social task among the poor hand in hand with the faith that has led him to be loved by all sectors. He is the only one who has already achieved, it is not a promise, a true national unity. On the pilgrimage of Homes of Christ he achieved the support of the clerical hierarchy and in the political elite. In Peronism he has no cracks. All the tendencies of the national and popular field, trade unions, social, mayors, governors, would go with Padre Pepe. He adds something key, the knowledge of the voters and that the percentage of negativity is so low that it makes him a humanist leader, Pepe surpasses Catholicism, he is loved by all people with spirituality or without faith.
Pepe is the candidate who falls in love. He was in the campaign without doing electoral politics.
Cristina herself, after the frustrated assassination, joined the priests and nuns who live in the villas. The only village priest who was not there that day was Pepe. He had his moment in private and there is the photo that is on the cover of this opinion article.
The Peronist people await a leader who will not come from the historical union organizations and the wonderful youth, but from the origin of the justicialist doctrine, the gospel. Perón to his biographer, Enrique Pavon Pereyrahe said, there you have the source from which I drank: the gospel.
Pepe has another in his favor. Are the Court and the mass media going to go after Pepe? Do they have room to proscribe or prosecute a proven man of God?
Another determining factor is added. The church seems to show him the way. Pepe was left without a parish. After a decade in the San Juan Bosco Church for the villas in José León Suárez, San Martín district, he is no longer a parish priest there. In principle he is free to continue building the Large Family of the Hogares de Cristonot only in Argentina, with a view to the region and in the short term before the return of Francisco to South America, and the most anticipated, his country.
The election is before a complex social scenario. The role of religious men with popular prestige who run for office in an election or a patriotic revolutionary process is not new for Argentina, nor for Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The antecedents are in the very conformation of the Argentine State, it is enough to see the May revolution, the Assembly of 1813, the creation of the Constitution in 1853, and closer to the time the Constituent Assembly of 1994, with the presence of the bishop Jaime De Nevares; the father Luis Farinello with the Social Pole at the beginning of the 21st century; the candidate for governor, in Misiones, the Jesuit Joaquin Pina; or currently the various municipalities, in different provinces, communally led by priests.
Neither Pepe confirms his candidacy, nor does he work on it. It will be necessary to see if he has a new encounter with the leader of Rosario around his neck and the man in white.
The mass for the death of CArlos Mugica, last Thursday, May 11, had a mobilizing popular mysticism. In the San Francisco Solano parish, the unison singing of “I come to offer my heart”.
This is the candidate who falls in love, the least expected, the covered one. He comes to offer his heart, as he cries fito paez since the return of democracy.
David William is a talented author who has made a name for himself in the world of writing. He is a professional author who writes on a wide range of topics, from general interest to opinion news. David is currently working as a writer at 24 hours worlds where he brings his unique perspective and in-depth research to his articles, making them both informative and engaging.