‘Not With Any Specific Ideology In Mind’

The Camp Of The Saints

From the AP, Nicole Winfield reporting, we learn [emphasis mine]:

Bolivian President Evo Morales’ controversial gift of a “Communist crucifix” to Pope Francis threatened to overshadow the pope’s visit to Bolivia on Thursday, with the Vatican and Bolivia both insisting that no offense was intended or taken.

Morales gave Francis the crucifix carved into a hammer and sickle upon Francis’ arrival in Bolivia Wednesday, immediately raising eyebrows given Morales’ past attacks on the church and his socialist bent.

Pope Francis is presented with a gift of a crucifix carved into a wooden hammer and sickle, the Communist symbol uniting labor and peasants, by Bolivian President Evo Morales in La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Apart from the carved hammer and sickle, Morales gave Francis another politically loaded gift, a copy of "The Book of the Sea," which is about the loss of Bolivia's access to the sea during the War of the Pacific with Chile in 1879-83. Morales said things have changed with this pope and the Bolivian people are greeting Francis as someone who is "helping in the liberation of our people." (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP) (L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

It turns out, the crucifix was originally designed by a Jesuit activist, the Rev. Luis Espinal, who was assassinated in 1980 by suspected paramilitaries during the months that preceded a military coup. Francis, a fellow Jesuit, stopped his motorcade to pray at the site where Espinal’s body had been dumped.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Thursday the pope had no idea that Espinal…

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