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Pope Francis Rejects 16,666,000 Peso Donation Because of “666”

Pope Francis Being Seen as Too Liberal
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Pope Francis wrote to the Argentinian branch of Scholas Occurentes and asked them to return the money.

Scholas Occurentes, an International Organization of Pontifical Right approved and raised by Pope Francis, recently received a donation of around $1.2 million (16,666,000 pesos), from the Argentinian government. The foundation is backed by the Pope. Pope Francis promptly asked the foundation to return the donation back, stating that he does not like the number 666.

Pope Francis Rejects 16,666,000 Peso Donation Because of “666”[/tweetthis]

According to the Vatican Insider, a publication run by the Italian newspaper La Stampa that provides comprehensive information on the Vatican, Pope Francis wrote to the Argentinian branch of Scholas Occurentes and asked them to return the money back to the Macri administration. He cited the reason as his dislike for the number 666.

Mauricio Macri is the current President of Argentina. The relationship between Macri and the Pope is strained. It started while Pope Francis was the archbishop of the capital, and Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires. In 2009, Macri refused to appeal a court order allowing same-sex marriage in the city. This angered the Pope.

Macri made the donation shortly afterward a Scholas Occurrentes event that happened two weeks ago, which saw the Pope awarding medals to Hollywood actors Richard Gere, George Clooney, and Salma Hayek.

The donation was returned by the Argentinian chapter of Scholas Occurentes stating that they are returning the donation to prevent generating any confusion or division among Argentinians. As there are some people who are trying to misrepresent this institutional gesture and trying to make it political.

The fact that the Argentinian media tried to highlight this gesture as a sign of the improving relationship between the two leaders did not sit well with the Pope either.

According to Susana Malcorra, the foreign minister of Argentina, who met with Pope Francis last Monday, the Pontiff or his office has no animosity towards the president.

According to the critics of the Macri administration, the real reason why the Pope rejected the donation is because of President Macri's introduction of swingeing austerity measures in the country, such as 100 percent increase in transport fares, 500 percent hike in home power rates, and so on, which has financially burdened Argentina's middle-class people.

Juan Grabois, Vatican advisor, as well as an Argentinian social activist, who has close access to the Pope, said that a person who thinks that he/she is making a gesture to Pope Francis by donating public money to an organization that has direct or indirect links to the Pope, is stupid.

According to an unnamed Argentinian government official, the donation amount was calculated based on the organization's expenditures, including the salaries of 36 employees, and the former Administration of State Property building's maintenance expenses. They are surprised that the Pope was not informed about this.


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