UPDATE July 10: To erase the disturbing image of Pope Francis smiling at the Commifix, the Bear presents Pope Francis' visit to the head of state of San Marco, as portrayed in Woody Allen's 1971 film "Bananas." (El Presidente was a collector of fine art: black velvet paintings of, er, questionable taste.)
On a more serious note, the expression that has been interpreted as "disapproving" is Francis' default expression, as you can see in many photos when he is not actually grinning broadly in response to some stimulus. And there is no doubt he did smile when receiving That Which Should Not Be. Anything more is spin.
For what it's worth, the entire exchange is said by many Spanish speakers to be: Pope: "I didn't know that." El Presidente: "Now you know."
And THIS is why the Bear wrote before this revelatory tour, "Only Nixon can go to China." Unless you're an anti-communist, you are going to wind up looking like a stooge if you hobnob with communists.
|Whew! I was worried he was going to give me a hammer and sickle crucifix!|
A smiling Pope Francis received a Communist hammer and sickle crucifix during a state visit with the Bolivian president. Early reports stated that the smiling pontiff said, "No, that's not right" while accepting the gift. However, later reports claim he can be heard saying "I didn't know that," instead.
If the President of Bolivia gave the Bear a bear rug, he would rip his lower jaw off.
If the President of Bolivia had tried to give Pope John Paul II or Ronald Reagan a hammer and sickle crucifix one can imagine the same thing happening. (For you younger readers, the 80s were crazy like that.)
So who are you going to believe? Patheos or your lyin' eyes?