Pope Francis to meet with Argentina President Cristina Kirchner


Pope Francis arrives for a private audience to members of the media on March 16, 2013 at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican. Pope Francis called for "a poor Church for the poor", saying he chose his papal name because St Francis of Assisi was "a man of poverty and a man of peace".



Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner left for Rome a day early in order to meet with fellow Argentine Pope Francis.

According to the Buenos Aires Herald, the president's meeting with the new pontiff was set to take place in the Vatican City at 12:50 p.m. local time with Argentine Ambassador to the Vatican Juan Pablo Cafiero and Papal Nuncio in Argentina Emil Paul Tscherrig.

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Arguably the most powerful Argentines, the two have clashed over the past years over numerous social issues, reported ABC News. Kirchner recently went against the church and successfully fought to legalize gay marriage in Argentina, and also adopted a series of measures such as mandatory sex education in schools, free distribution of contraceptives in public hospitals, and gave transsexuals the right to change their official identities.

But even with their differences, Kirchner sent Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio a congratulatory letter when he was named Pope Francis, according to CNN

The new pope does, however, have bigger problems. A book by investigative reporter Horacio Verbitsky accuses Pope Francis of deliberately failing to protect two Jesuit priests during Argentina's Dirty War. CNN reported that the priests, Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics, were said to be kidnapped by the navy and were found alive five months later.