There is no doubt that Evo Morales was a great friend of Pope Francis, calling him “brother Pope” to indicate that, unlike the bishops of his nation, Francis can be trusted.
Their mutual friendship led “The Puebla Group,” composed of left-wing political leaders, to have recourse to Pope Francis in extremis to try to save the presidency of Evo Morales. Santiago’s daily El Mercurio, of November 17, reports: “They started from that moment an operation in which several members of the (Puebla) Group participated. One of their first steps was to suggest that Pope Francis call on that South American country in his Angelus address on Sunday, which he did: ‘I invite all Bolivians, in particular, political and social actors, to wait in a constructive spirit and without preconditions, in an environment of peace and serenity, the results of the election review process, which is currently taking place. In peace,’” concluded the Pontiff.
Francis’s support could not have been clearer. However, the Bolivians did not want to heed his advice, forcing Morales to resign.
With his recent resignation, certainly not voluntary, some things are changing in the presidential palace concerning the symbols of power, including the abandonment of the wiphala flag, a kind of multicolored cloth that Evo Morales adopted as a symbol of the “plurinational state.”
During the fourteen years of Morales’s mandate, the wiphala (which in the Aymara language means a flexible, undulating, and square object) was used in official acts such as the celebration of the Day of the Sea, when it was carried by the Armed Forces.
In passing, this multicolored flag never had any historical reference, nor was it identified with any native indigenous peoples, who do not use flags.
More significantly, the new interim President, Mrs. Jeanine Áñez, took her oath of office upon the Bible, as the President traditionally did when assuming command of the Nation.
Mentioning this return of the Bible to the official presidential ceremony, the daily El País of Madrid reports, “On Sunday, as the leader of the civic committees of Santa Cruz Luis Fernando Camacho placed a Bible and a tricolored flag in the halls of the Government Palace, one of his followers exclaimed to the media outside: ‘The Bible is back in the palace. Never again will Pachamama return!” [Pachamama or Mother Earth is worshiped as a deity in the Andes, and was an idol of the Morales government.]
As one can see, Pachamama drew adverse reactions not only in Rome during the recent Synod, but has also been expelled from Bolivia’s presidential palace to make room for the Bible.
What a good lesson for many European churchmen, who adopted the fashionable fetish a bit too quickly.