BY JOHN PAUL RATHBONE & BENEDICT MANDER
When Pope Francis held an audience with Cristina Fernández in March, his first with any head of state, the meeting of the two Argentines was a study in contrasts. While the former was serene and dressed in white, Ms Fernández wore widow’s weeds and appeared coquettish, her eyes circled in kohl.
“Oops, can I do that?” she said, touching his sleeve and giggling like a schoolgirl. “I never imagined I would meet the Pope,” she mumbled, crossing her hands across her chest.
It was an unusual show of humility from a politician known for her imperious style and sharp tongue. As she once said: “The only thing to fear is God – and me a little, too.” But this week Ms Fernández was cast in another unfamiliar role: that of invalid.