Shame and double confession for the Vatican's deputy spokesman father Ciro Benedettini: it has now clearly emerged that Pope Francis was well aware he was holding a poster calling for Malvinas dialogue between the UK and Argentina, and furthermore the Holy Father encouraged the man who setup the stage to continue strongly with the campaign.
In effect when instant communication spread to the world the picture of Francis and his poster message: It's time for Malvinas dialogue between Argentina and the UK, most Argentines including president Cristina Fernandez went crazy-happy and as expected the Falkland Islanders were furious.
However it is understandable that the Peronist Pope should have passively accepted to have the instant image transmitted to the world, although nor unexpectedly since Gustavo Hoyo, the man behind the 'dialogue' campaign has been for a long time looking for such forceful messages.
Mr. Hoyo has publicly admitted that when the Pope passed by, I explained what this was about and he kindly took the placard and got the picture taken. He could have chosen not to do it, but he did.
Not only that, Father Benedettini, Mr. Hoyo has admitted that after the setup, the Pope effectively told him to continue 'strongly' with the Malvinas-dialogue campaign.
But for spokesperson Benedettini (shame on you) to later argue ceremoniously that “the Holy Father did not even realize he had this object in his hands. He has discovered this just now after seeing the photograph”, it's a bit too much.
The spokesperson added the picture was taken out of context during the general audience when many people give items to the Holy Father.
Benedettini went on: the Holy Father likes to keep physical contact with the people at the audiences and very often he receives, gifts, objects, he embraces and kisses, and even shares mate (South American infusion tea).
Francis interest in diplomatic conflicts is not new since apparently he played a key role in bringing together Cuba and the US administration of President Barack Obama, which must be applauded, but on other occasions he hasn't been so effective.
In effect during his recent pilgrimage to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay he addressed landlocked Bolivia's aspiration to a Pacific outlet, hoping for an understanding, but the Chileans politely recalled it was a bilateral issue and certainly not as straightforward as the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires believed.
Also in Bolivia, Francis was presented with a crucifix based on the hammer and sickle emblem of communism, and which was sculpted by an assassinated priest, a Jesuit as himself.
After the photo was widely shared on the Internet, Francis felt the need to explain that, while he admired the priest, he did not share his revolutionary views. He added that he was not offended by the Marxist-inspired cross, but obviously was well aware of such an impact for Catholic Poland and US Catholics.
Unfortunately this can't be expected to happen with the 'Malvinas-dialogue' poster because demography speaks, but nevertheless, Father Benedettini, shame on you for misleading a world audience: double confession next Sunday.