Pope Francis was officially invited this Thursday to visit Argentina, his native country, which he has not set foot in since he was elected head of the Catholic Church 11 years ago. The invitation, extended by letter by Javier Milei, is the latest proof of the 180-degree turns that the Argentine president has taken since he was elected to office in November 2023.

“I value your wise advice, and your wishes for courage and wisdom for me, so necessary to face the challenge of directing the destinies of our Homeland and our fellow citizens,” says a passage from the two-page letter, in which Milei invites Francisco to a visit that would contribute to “the long-desired unity” of all Argentines.

“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 your presence and transmit their filial affection,” the letter adds.


The ultraliberal came to power with shouts, insults, aesthetics and groundbreaking proposals, but in less than 48 hours as elected president of Argentina, he demonstrated an unsuspected love for pragmatism. It was evident on November 21 in his telephone conversation with Francisco.

“Wisdom and courage,” Francisco wished Milei, in an eight-minute conversation, after congratulating him on his victory over the Peronist Sergio Massa in the second electoral round on November 19. “I don’t lack courage and I’m working on wisdom,” Milei responded in a dialogue that sources close to the libertarian defined as “enjoyable.”

Diana Mondino, today Milei’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, managed contact with the Pope, who called the president-elect during a television interview that was taking place at the hotel where the winner of Sunday’s elections is staying. Mondino interrupted the interview so Milei could answer the call that came from the Vatican.

Already then, Milei made a verbal invitation to the pope to visit the country. The invitation was welcomed by Francis, 87 years old, who has not set foot in Argentina since he was elected on March 13, 2013 as the first Latin American Pope in history. Her relationship with Cristina Fernández de Kirchner while she coincided with her as her president was fluid, while she treated Mauricio Macri with extreme coldness.

The rapprochement between Milei and the Pope is quite a political turn. The imminent Argentine president defined the Pope some time ago, when he did not dream of reaching the Casa Rosada, as “the evil one”, and already during the electoral campaign he accused him of supporting dictatorships: “The Pope plays politically, he has strong political interference, he has shown great affinity with dictators like Castro and Maduro, is on the side of bloody dictatorships.”

The Pope reacted by elliptically criticizing Milei, whom he defined as a dangerous “pied piper” who deceives people. Meanwhile, Milei’s ideological guru, Alberto Benegas Lynch (son), asked at the close of the first round campaign to break relations with the Vatican.

All that is in the past, Milei wants the Pope to visit Argentina and end this year with the distance from the country where he was born.