Infobae pointed out that the comments attributed to the pope would be a response to an article published in the French newspaper La Croix a day earlier, in which one of the “Vatican’s most fervent proponents of Francis’ Latin American tour” is cited, stating that “if Javier Milei is elected, the projected trip falls apart,” but “if Sergio Massa wins the elections, the pope can go.”

The presidential runoff election in Argentina

On Sunday, Nov. 19, the runoff or second round of the presidential elections are being held in Argentina, with candidates Massa and Milei as contenders.

Massa is the current minister of economy in Argentina — which is mired in a deep economic crisis — and candidate for the Unión por la Patria (Union for the Homeland) party, formerly called Frente de Todos (Everyone’s Front), the current ruling party, which has a progressive and Peronist tendency.

In the debate held last Sunday, Massa invited the Holy Father to visit Argentina in 2024 and said: “We would love to have him in Argentina.”

Milei is an economist on the right of the political spectrum, the candidate of the La Libertad Avanza (Freedom Advances) party. 

On more than one occasion he has harshly criticized Pope Francis, but in recent days he has apologized and acknowledged that his statements were inappropriate.