By Shay Healy Author and Writer with The Irish Daily Mail
Not surprisingly, the new pope is a football fan. He follows a team called San Lorenzo, but five will get you ten, one of the first men sure to exploit the new Argentinian pontiff, will be Diego “The Hand of God” Maradona. Don’t be surprised if Diego gets total absolution and is declared a “living” saint.
But if Pope Francis 1 really wants to popularise himself in Europe, he should get his butt down to the town of Rosario, renowned in Argentina as the birth place of the best footballer in the world, Lionel Messi. The only thing that takes the shine off Rosario is the grim coincidence that Che Guevara was also born there. Che is a hard act to follow. Some see him as a raving psychopath , while more see him as a warrior, inclined towards Jesuitical thinking.
Pope Francis 1 is a man who likes to sit at the back of the bus, unnoticed. Lots of people see virtue in the way he lives. He got rid of his big house and moved to a small apartment. Next to go was his house-keeper. Then he shed his chauffeur and his limo and travelled on the bus and cooked his own meals. Typical bachelor.
Perhaps he enjoys the frugality of it all. Or maybe he is doing atonement for his less than scrupulous performance when Argentina’s military junta ruled with an iron rod and many young men were snatched by murderous goons. They never returned home but instead, to Argentina’s shame, they joined the ranks of those who embarrassingly became known to the world as The Disappeared.