[A few more links on Gustavo Vera in from one of our Argentine sleuth/translators…. -AB]
Before He Was Pope: Old Friends of Francis Share Stories From His ‘Street Priest’ Days in Argentina (People Magazine)
- Gustavo Vera and Lucas Schaerer remember Francis as a “fearless street priest”, they specifically reached out to him because they “needed protection”. (Their example of what “protection” entailed can’t possibly be the whole truth.)
- Jorge was hands on with the organization – “Francis arranged new housing and jobs for witnesses who needed to relocate to stay safe. “He would personally help, console and bless the people we rescued together – drug addicts, prostitutes and human slaves kept” in clothing factories, says Schaerer. (Jorge was an Archbishop at the time)
- “Francis nicknamed his two street pals “los Troskista de Dios” or “God’s Trotskys,” and kept them from harm, too.”
- In this interview Vera says that they’d be floating in the river if it wasn’t for Jorge’s involvement. This seems to be what the other article was referencing.
- Schraer says Francis called Vera weekly to check in on everything.
- “Jorge is very quick-witted and the funniest thing is that he remembers his quiet jokes for years.” (*rolls eyes*)
Article on Gustavo Vera’s politics (In Spanish)
Vera founded his own political party, Common Good. Choice quotes from the interview:
- “I’m a soldier of the same cause Pope Francis defends” (also the title of the article)
- “In Common Good we try to express politically much of the philosophical guidelines expressed in the first papal exhortation/appeal.”
- He expands on this idea saying: “The center of society must be man, we must put an end to the tyranny of money, power must be returned to service and wealth must be at the service of the community… ” The last two sentences in this quote are awkward to translate verbatim but he ends this thought by saying these guidelines are something they’ve (Jorge + Vera) shared for years, they aren’t a recent invention.
Vera Interview On Bergoglio – In Italian (I only have a basic grasp of Italian, so I used an online translator)
Pretty much repeats the same info as the above article, but here is Vera’s answer to the statement “You participated in the conference at the Vatican with the magistrates on trafficking and slavery, close to Francis…”:
“It was June of last year. The marvelous paintings of the Apostolic Palace impressed me a lot. In the evening at dinner, at the Santa Marta house, I told the Holy Father: “What splendid frescoes are in the Apostolic Palace!”. He replied: ‘What frescoes? When I go there I try not to look too much around me. Otherwise you end up believing yourself a prince or a king …’. Do you understand what a person is? “