It wasn’t a long interview, barely 35 minutes for the four of them, but Isabel Díaz Ayuso and José Luis Martínez-Almeida got what they wanted: a meeting with Pope Francis on the eve of the election campaign. Accompanied by a Madrid government delegate, Mercedes González (who, no, is not running) and Cardinal Carlos Osoro, the president and the mayor of Madrid thanked Bergoglio for giving San Isidro a jubilee year.
However, for some it was just an excuse to achieve what politicians of other ideological stripes had previously achieved, such as Vice President Yolanda Díaz – interestingly, harshly criticized for this by Ayuso – or Minister Bolaños. However, the Pope emphasized among them “unity in diversity” and, especially, the most vulnerable.
After the appointment and with the accredited media in the “Canutazo” square of San Pedro, the president of the society emphasized the sincerity of the event. “I told him that many Madrid people asked us to convey the love and closeness of the Madrid people,” began Ayuso, who admitted that he “received a pleasant memory for an unforgettable moment.”
“He was very interested in the neighborhoods, the people in need,” added Ayuso, who emphasized the need established by Francisco “to govern based on principles, values, a way of seeing life, but not based on ideologies, which end up being nets that do nothing but people division”. “(The Pope) asked us for unity in diversity and we will take that into account, of course,” the president added.
“First of all, he asked us to stop talking so much about the past, about the wars, and I couldn’t agree more,” said one Ayuso, who testified that he had not touched the Valley of the Fallen with Francisco. “We did not talk about politics or power that is not mine,” he said, although he said that the new law “will protect the religious symbols of all churches,” the president concluded, quoted by the Efe agency.
On the other hand, the Mayor of Madrid, Jose Luis Martínez Almeida, considered it an “honor” to receive the Pope. “As a Catholic, this is one of the most exciting moments of my life,” admitted the adviser, who along with other guests presented the Pope with water from San Isidro, several facsimile paintings of Madrid’s patron saint and jerseys of Real Madrid, Atlético, Rayo Vallecano and Getafe. “They were so much fun.”
“Unity does not mean uniformity”
As for what Francisco gave them, Almeida reiterated “the need to serve the people, to be united, to be focused on the people and especially the most vulnerable.” “He told us that unity does not mean uniformity, but that we put people at the center of our politics, even above ideologies. That the most vulnerable are those who need us the most, and that we act for the benefit of the common interest.”
Finally, the government delegate, Mercedes González, emphasized the importance of “always putting the people first”, highlighting the Pope’s “deep knowledge” of “what is happening in the society of Madrid”.
For the Cardinal of Madrid, Carlos Osoro, in Rome “it’s thanks to be with the political leaders of all the administrations”. At that time, he was convinced of “the search for unity, the unity of all, the good of all.” “The Pope calls us to seek the unity that unites us. This is always good for all of us. It was fascinating,” concluded the Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference.
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Source: El Diario