Pope Rejects Communist Crucifix from Bolivia President: ‘That’s Not Right’

Pope Rejects Communist Crucifix from Bolivia President: ‘That’s Not Right’

While media have questioned Pope Francis’ political ideology, here’s one thing he won’t do: accept a communist crucifix.

Shortly after arriving in Bolivia, in the presidential palace, President Evo Morales handed Pope Francis a gift: a crucifix carved in the shape of a hammer and sickle.  

Pope Francis responded, “That’s not right” or “no está bién” in Spanish.

“The Pope was not amused, and he let the president know about it,” Rome Reports wrote.

According to the Wall Street Journal, President Morales also "draped a medallion over his neck that bore the hammer and sickle."

The crucifix resembled the cross of Fr. Luis Espinal, a Spanish Jesuit who was tortured and killed by Bolivia's paramilitary squads in 1980. During his time in Bolivia, Pope Francis blessed a memorial for the priest.

When President Morales took office in 2006, he removed both the Bible and cross from the presidential palace, according to International Business Times.

While news media including the Wall Street Journal and AP acknowledged the gift, they have not noted Pope Francis’ reaction.

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.