Photo: Pope Francis
Pope Francis telephoned the Argentine envoy to the Vatican on Friday to ask that he “officially” ratify to the government of Cristina Fernandez the authenticity of the message he sent on the occasion of Argentina’s Independence Day.
Francis, himself an Argentine, “expressly” asked that the government be contacted in order to “decisively ratify that the letter is authentic,” according to a cable Ambassador Juan Pablo Cafiero sent to Buenos Aires.
“It is authentic and is akin to the telegrams normally sent to other nations on their national holidays,” the diplomat said in a message read Friday by Fernandez’s chief of staff, Oscar Parrilli, at a joint press conference together with Religion Secretary Guillermo Oliveri.
“The Holy Father is sorry for those who spread doubts about the authenticity of the letter and was upset that some of the media tried to get water out of dry ground in order to create conflicts,” Cafiero said with regard to the controversy sparked by Rev. Guillermo Karcher’s remark that the message published was false.
Cafiero thanked Francis for his “gesture of respect and honesty” and expressed his wish to the pope that “his coming trip to the Holy Land bears the fruit that humanity longs for.”
Karcher retracted what he said on Thursday. The priest had said that the message was written “in bad blood” and it was “nasty to have used the name of the pope.”
The Vatican message, written colloquially and without an official seal, was released Thursday by the Argentine presidency.
“Cristina: I am pleased to send you my greetings and close feelings on the occasion of the national holiday, together with my best wishes for all Argentines,” it reads.
The note ends with a “cordially” and the signature: Francis.