With the historic rise of an Argentine to the throne of St. Peter, this nation has erupted in celebration and debate, with one of its own becoming the first Latin American pope. The story of his relationship with his home government, some here say, underscores his willingness to butt heads with secular leaders whose politics conflict with the Roman Catholic Church.
In recent years, his clashes with the husband-and-wife tag team who have led this nation of 40 million created a rift between the Casa Rosada — Argentina’s White House — and the church as Bergoglio challenged the moral authority of elected leaders. Now, as he enters the crisis-plagued halls of Vatican City, his years in Argentina show that when he sees fit, Pope Francis can be a combative leader unafraid to challenge entrenched authority.
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