14 March, 2013

Habemus Papam

The white smoke did not bring any special joy but the announcement made me joyful. There are some reasons that I am happy about him. It is not all those leading candidates indicated in media and bets placed who became at last the pope but a simple, humble and a man of social justice.

I need to just put some facts here that could give an indication of the goodness of Pope Francis.

  • ·         He is s son of an immigrant Italian (From Turin to Buenos Aires)
  • ·         He is simply known as Father Jorge.
  • ·         A pope outside Europe after 1282 years
  • ·         As a Latin American, he is from this 46% (according to CNN and according to Pew Forum of religion and public life it is 39%) Catholics of the whole world who were never represented and this brings justice to them.
  • ·         Undisputedly accepted fact that he was the voice of the poor in Argentina.
  • ·         He washed the feet of the AIDS patients on the holy Thursday and set an example
  • ·         He lived in an apartment like a poor man renouncing the bishops palace
  • ·         He gave up his chauffeured Limousine in favor of the public transport travelling with the general public
  • ·         He cooked his own meals
  • ·         First pope to adopt the name of Francis after Francis of Assisi
  • ·         Broke the tradition by seeking the prayer of the people first before blessing them

There can be a lot to add but these were some important matters from his life that caught my attention.
I would pray with a happy heart and seek God’s blessing upon the church at this historic moment and thank God for helping the church with a person with such a heart for the poor and to give a pope who is liberal on social justice.

09 March, 2013

Iviva Chavez

Running to the papal conclave, the whole world attention turned towards Venezuela to mourn the death of Hugo Chavez, the undefeated fighter against imperialism and American Hegemony.

BBC, CNN and all media with right wing thinking tried their best to highlight the negativities and to show the world his life and presidency in another cynical angle. Even now after his death a number of articles are published showing that he was a failure. I don’t believe in this as I am well aware of media politics. Right is not everything done by US and its dependents.

Hugo Chavez was a bold charismatic socialist leader who could rally the states with similar thinking to show the world there can be another world order other than dictated and manipulated by US and the rich allies. He said in the UN boldly referring to George W Bush that this gentleman who is the president of US whom I refer to as Devil came here as if he owned the world. I do appreciate that.

 But Chavez was not against humanity and human concerns. Even though he was against US international politics, he donated heating oil to help the victims of hurricane Katrina and Rita, which destroyed the fuel processing facilities in US.

Chavez lived in poverty and this poverty denied him to stay with parents. He suffered in his life with humiliation, poverty, and suffering without food led him to be the country’s most populist leader and to be termed as the savior of the Venezuela. The country Venezuela was known to the world through Hugo Chavez.

He came to know that the country with rich oil reserves did grow rich but the wealth did not flow to the hands of the poor. Reading Marx, Lenin, Mao and attracted to Che Guevara and following the philosophical ideals of Simon Bolivar he invented his own socialism mixed with catholic faith. He was attracted to the Liberation theology which was popular in Latin American countries and got tactically suppressed by the official Catholic Church. He wanted to be a priest in the Catholic Church and placed the roots of his socialism on Jesus Christ and called Jesus the world’s greatest socialist and revolutionary.

A devout catholic, follower of Christ, soldier for the poor, he cried in the church praying for his health. Even this did not help him to criticize the Catholic Church and to the extent of telling the world that he doesn’t believe that Pope Benedict is not the God’s emissary to the earth. He appealed to the Catholic Church in Venezuela to stop criticizing his socialism and affinity to communism and to take part with him in the process of eradication of poverty in Venezuela.

Hugo Chavez in his last tweet on February 18 wrote „I am still clinging to Christ and trust in my doctors and nurses. Ever onward to victory!!! We will live and overcome“.

The main ingredients of his socialism were to give importance to education, social justice, national sovereignty and he went to the extent of forging a Latin-American integration.  And his approaches attracted apart from the anti-American friends other celebrities such as Naomi Campbell, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Courtney Love, and Sean Penn among others. It was the generous Haitian aid from Venezuela during Chavez time that attracted Sean Penn to him. Sean Penn said „US lost a friend it never knew it had. Poor people around the world had a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have”.

Poverty of Chavez in his childhood made him a follower of Christ, his undying zeal to help poor to be liberated made him a socialist. As a catholic socialist, he showed the world; Christ is not housed among the rich but also among the poor. Even if the church doesn’t encourage a radical liberation theology, Chavez took it to the international political arena. Along with the Venezuelan brothers and sisters, I also respect him. Long live Chavez!!!