Argentina moved a step closer Thursday to issuing commemorative coins to honor its native son after its lower chamber of Congress backed the move, Pope Francis, AFP reports.
"We believe that the personality, charisma and humility of Pope Francis have helped revive goodwill toward the Roman Catholic Church worldwide," reads the bill passed by the House of Deputies.
It now will go before the Senate in Argentina, which has been swept by papal fever since the pontiff was selected in March.
The measure honoring the Buenos Aires-born Jorge Bergoglio, the first pope from the Americas, calls for a coin to be minted with the motto "Homage of the Argentine people to Pope Francis."
The vote was 177 in favor and three opposed. Lawmaker Marcela Rodriguez explained her opposition by noting that Argentina's state is supposed to be lay in nature. She said the law violates religious freedom and equality.