Stadiums cheering for the former president of Uruguay Pepe Mujica. We witnessed it twice during his visit to Rome: at the Third World Meeting of Popular Movements, invited by the Pope to the Vatican, and at the Palladium of Garbatella, in a lecture to students organized by the Region’s Vice President Massimiliano Smeriglio for the release of the book A Black Sheep to Power, written by Andres Danza and Ernesto Tulbovitz, published by Lumi.
Ignacio Ramonet described him as a messianic Mujica, “philosopher and politician,” summing up the biography of the former tupamaro: the consistent profile of a man who has come a long way — from the guerrillas, through prison and legal politics, to the presidency — always remaining true to himself. “So,” the journalist quipped, “now we have two popes: Pope Bergoglio and … Pepe Mujica.”
Also Saturday, during the meeting of Bergoglio with the popular movements in the Paul VI Hall, when Mujica appeared in the video feed, the more than 3,000 people present applauded at the open stage. Then, the pope paid him tribute. Pope Francis greeted him and quoted him, talking about the need of the great policy, participatory democracy and the risks when politics is used as a profession instead of living it as a passion. He said: “Those who wants to make money with politics, please steer clear … and also steer clear from the seminar.”