Sunday, March 24, 2013

Papal Popularity Rumor

There is a rumor going around that South Americans, apart from those in Argentina, weren't as thrilled about the election of Pope Francis as you might think.  Somebody close to the ground described a (comparative) silence, as though it just weren't that big a deal.  Which, when you think about just how many Roman Catholics live in South America, is pretty surprising.

Somebody else, well acquainted with the region, observes that Argentinians are not always popular among their neighbors.  They are perceived -- stereotyped, that is -- as rude, pretentious, and so forth.  Much the way Swedes are perceived in the other Nordic countries, or New Yorkers by other Americans.

We have no idea whether there's anything to this.  Likely not, or at least not much.  But it may be interesting to see how effectively Francis is able to work in, say, Bolivia -- and what obstacles he may encounter on the way.

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