Many analysts saw fertile ground for Javier Milei
Many analysts saw fertile ground for Javier Milei, whose slick TikTok campaign and rock-star style rallies captivated the youth AFP

President Javier Milei of Argentina has sent a formal invitation to Pope Francis, who left Argentina 11 years ago, to visit his homeland.

In the letter dated Jan. 8, Milei expressed his appreciation for the bishop of Rome and the sovereign of the Vatican City State for talking to him over the phone on Nov. 22, 2023, after he was elected president of Argentina.

The 53-year-old president said the 87-year-old pope's advice means a lot to him, and so does the religious leader's gesture of wishing him courage and wisdom — things he believes are necessary as he faces the challenge of leading Argentina and its people.

He then thanked the pope for the participation of the Holy See in the ceremony of his assumption as president of the country on Dec. 10 by sending the Apostolic Nuncio to Chile, Monsignor Alberto Ortega Martin, as representative.

"We are aware that these decisions can deepen inequalities, so our top priority is to protect our vulnerable compatriots, thanking the collaboration of the Catholic Church, whose action in the social field is invaluable," he wrote, according to Independent Catholic News.

"You know well that you do not need an invitation to come to your beloved Argentina. At the risk of saying the unnecessary, I invite you to visit our beloved Homeland, according to the dates and places indicated to us, keeping in mind the general desire of our cities, provinces and towns to have His presence and transmit their filial affection," he noted further.

The president also said he believes the pope's trip "will bring fruits of pacification and brotherhood of all Argentines, eager to overcome our divisions and confrontations" and emphasized that his presence and message in his homeland will "contribute to the long-desired unity of all our compatriots" and "provide us with the collective strength necessary to preserve our peace and work for the prosperity and enlargement of our beloved Argentine Republic."

It is worth noting that the pope said last month that his visit to Argentina is "pending." He also shared that he has been dealing with a number of health problems and using a wheelchair or cane, as per Reuters.

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