Pope Francis Discusses Peronism and Poverty in New Book

A new Spanish-language book titled “The Shepherd: Francis’ Challenges, Reasons, and Reflections on His Pontificate,” authored by Argentine journalist Sergio Rubín and his Italian colleague Francesca Ambrogetti, has been released. The book contains Pope Francis’ answers to frequently asked questions, based on the authors’ conversations with him over the almost 10 years of his pontificate.

The book reviews Francis’ pontificate, including his views on corruption at the Vatican, abuses committed by members of the Church, the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, his position on capitalism, and a possible visit to his homeland.

In a special chapter on Argentina, the pope addresses allegations that he is a Peronist, saying that he was never affiliated with the Peronist party and was not a supporter. However, he acknowledges that his position on social justice and his interaction with a Peronist group at the Jesuit-run Salvador University in the 1970s have led some to label him as such. He also defends his interactions with officials and figures of that political persuasion.

The book also clarifies that the pope does not promote “poorism,” and is not against capitalism or the market. He believes in a social economy that involves the state, capital, and labor.