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Tangoing for the Pope's Birthday on Dec 17

posted Dec 2, 2014, 7:55 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Dec 27, 2014, 10:11 PM ]
sydney tango lessons
The Pope not only likes his maté, 
he also likes the 'immoral' dance of tango!

How times have changed, especially in regards to how the Catholic world views Argentine tango!

On January 16, 1914 Pope Cardinal Basillo Pompili denounced Tango as the 'New Paganism'. Referring to the growing popularity of tango in Europe, he urges in a pastoral letter to his clergy to courageously raise their voices "in defending the sanctity of Christian usages against the dangers threatening and the overwhelming immorality of the new paganism...

The tango, which has already been condemned by illustrious Bishops, and is prohibited even in Protestant countries, must be absolutely prohibited in the seat of the Roman Pontiff, the centre of the Catholic religion."

Fast forward a hundred years - and now tango has being used to celebrate the Pope's birthday! 

Not surprisingly my reaction from reading the following News Flash today was both one of delight and bemusement!

Published - Rome, Italy, Dec 2, , 2014 / 02:43 am

'Pope Francis enjoys the customs of his native Argentina. He drinks mate – an Argentinean tea – he follows soccer, and likes to listen to Tango music.

Consequently, some 7,000 Tango dances have decided to perform a flash mob for the pontiff to celebrate his 78th birthday this month.

Touted on social networks as “the largest milonga in the world,” nearly 9,000 dancers were invited to take part. The event is planned for Pope Francis’ birthday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. at Rome's Risorgimento Square, just steps away from St. Peter's.

Cristina Camaroni, who is organizing the flash mob, posted on Facebook that she is very happy with the event.

“We have gotten all of the permits and we will dance a milonga with the official permission of the city of Rome and the Vatican gendarmerie!” she said.

The flash mob dance is expected to last two hours, and the city will block traffic as the Tango dancers give their performance.

About 3,000 of the dancers are expected to take part that same morning in the Pope's Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter's Square. They will each be wearing a white handkerchief around their necks.

In the 2010 book-interview, “The Jesuit,” by Francesca Ambrogetti and Sergio Rubin, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio – who is now Pope Francis – said, “I like Tango very much. It's something that comes from inside of me. My favorite singers are Carlos Gardel, Julio Sosa and Ada Falcon, who later became a nun.”'

Here is footage of the Pope's 'Birthday Tango'...