Pope Francis Rejects Argentina Donation Due to Its 666 Sum

Pope Francis Rejects Argentina Donation Due to Number of 6's
Getty Images

Good deeds and donations are usually welcomed by the Catholic Church with open arms, but not when they come bearing a bad omen.

PLUS: Is Pope Francis Taking A Step To Help Women Become Priests?

Earlier this week, Pope Francis rejected a donation of over a million dollars from the president of Argentina due to the number of 6s in the amount.

President Mauricio Macri's donation to the Scholas Occurrentes educational foundation came out to 16,666,000 pesos, which converts into $1.2 million, according to the Vatican Insider. The pope reportedly wrote in the rejection letter, "I don't like the 666," referring to what is called the "number of the beast" in the New Testament.

Some believe that this may also be due to Pope Francis' personal feelings toward the way Macri runs his home country. According to the Buenos Aires Herald, the pontiff is upset by the economic corruption occurring under Macri's administration. When Pope Francis visited his native country this past February, he convened with the president for what was described as a "frosty 22 minutes." He pressed Macri on the human rights issues that are taking place in Argentina, such as poverty and drug-trafficking. 

Government officials deny that the return of the money caused any personal issues. 

"There is no aninmosity toward the president," said foreign minister Susana Malcorra after speaking to Pope Francis. "It was a very rich, natural conversation, with no calling of accounts or enormous philosophical differences."

READ: Pope Francis Awards Selma Hayek With Medal For Arts And Peace

Alternatively, a Vatican adviser with close links to the pope and Argentinine activist Juan Grabois says the number just didn't sound good.

"Whoever thinks that by giving money, especially public funds to a foundation directly or indirectly linked to Francis, is making a gesture to the pope, is stupid," he told Argentine media.