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Pope to Mapuche: No culture better than another

January 17th, 2018 Posted in Featured, International News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

TEMUCO, Chile — Celebrating Mass in a land steeped in indigenous history and culture, Pope Francis said the greatest threat facing humanity is the stifling of differences driven by the idea that some cultures are better than others.

Greeting members of the Mapuche people and other indigenous peoples living in southern Chile Jan. 17, Pope Francis recognized the suffering and injustice endured by the indigenous population.

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Sea of humanity greets pope at Mass in Santiago

January 16th, 2018 Posted in Featured, International News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

SANTIAGO, Chile — The beatitudes are not cheap words for those who think they know it all yet do not commit to faith; they are the fruit of a hopeful heart that yearns for peace and happiness, Pope Francis said.

Christ’s response to the longings and aspirations of those seeking a life of happiness are not a “product of those prophets of dooms who seek only to spread dismay” or “mirages that promise happiness with a single ‘click,’ in the blink of any eye,” the pope said Jan. 16, celebrating his first public Mass in Chile.

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Pope seeks forgiveness in Chile for ‘irreparable damage’

January 16th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: , ,

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SANTIAGO, Chile (CNS) — Pope Francis, in his first formal speech in Chile, asked forgiveness from those who were sexually abused by priests.

Addressing government authorities and members of the country’s diplomatic corps Jan. 16, the pope expressed his “pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the church.”

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Pope praises Peru, Chile for serving those ‘discarded by society’

January 9th, 2018 Posted in Vatican News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Less than a week before embarking on a seven-day visit to South America, Pope Francis said he would go to Chile and Peru as a pilgrim and share the Gospel’s message of hope and joy.

“I want to meet with you, look into your eyes, see your faces and experience God’s closeness, his tenderness and mercy that embraces and consoles us,” the pope said in a video message released by the Vatican Jan. 9.

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Salesian-run school prepares for papal visit to Chile

January 8th, 2018 Posted in Featured, International News Tags: ,

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SANTIAGO, Chile (CNS) — The playground at the Salesian-run school is filled with children in brightly colored swimsuits, laughing and screaming as young Catholic volunteers spray them with water in the 100-degree summer sunshine.

The children range in age from 6 to 12. They are participating in a weeklong summer camp, which helps children from vulnerable backgrounds have fun during their summer vacation and brings them closer to the Catholic Church in preparation for Pope Francis’ Jan. 15-18 visit.

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Chile, Peru eager for weeklong visit from pope

January 3rd, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: , ,

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TEMUCO, Chile — Sergio Catalaf’s son was just 3 days old when police arrested the Mapuche Indian leader, accusing him of terrorism. He and 10 other Mapuche leaders spent 14 months in preventive detention before being acquitted in October of setting fire to a farmhouse in which an elderly couple died.

Sitting in his simple wooden house, cradling the child on his lap as a light rain fell outside, Catalaf said he and others have been targeted unjustly because they are defending their people’s right to their ancestral territory.

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Pope drawn into Bolivian-Chilean coastline controversy

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Catholic News Service

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia — Pope Francis had barely touched Bolivian soil when President Evo Morales brought up the touchiest topic in the landlocked country’s foreign policy: access to the sea.

“You have arrived in a country mutilated by its lack of access to the sea,” Morales said in his July 8 welcoming speech. “Welcome to the great fatherland, which has been denied access to the sea through an invasion.”

Pope Francis greets Bolivian President Evo Morales during an arrival ceremony at at El Alto International Airport in La Paz, Bolivia, July 8. The airport is more than 13,300 feet above sea level. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis greets Bolivian President Evo Morales during an arrival ceremony at at El Alto International Airport in La Paz, Bolivia, July 8. The airport is more than 13,300 feet above sea level. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

He later presented the pope with a gift, the “Book of the Sea,” which explains Bolivia’s historic and ongoing arguments in its dispute with Chile to take back its coastline.

Pope Francis responded with improvised comments in a speech at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in La Paz.

“I’m thinking of the sea: Dialogue is indispensable,” he said, “building bridges instead of building walls.”

Morales’ attempt at pulling the pope into Bolivia’s centuries-old dispute with Chile over access to the Pacific Ocean comes as the country takes its case to the International Court of Justice.

Bolivia lost about 250 miles of coastline after an 1879 invasion by Chile, which now claims the arid, but mineral-rich, area as its northernmost region. Chile considers the case closed and settled by a 1904 treaty.

But Bolivia’s desire to reclaim what was once its territory remains strong and forms part of the national psyche. It still has an active navy, which mostly patrols Lake Titicaca and navigable rivers rather than the high seas.

Analysts say the maritime claim offers rare unity in a divided country, along with an explanation for why the country suffers some of the worst poverty in the hemisphere. Its place in the public consciousness predates Morales’ 2005 election.

“This is a myth of Bolivian poverty and a way to explain it,” said Rafael Archondo, director of the Jesuit-run news service Agencia de Noticias Fides.

Archondo said some argue that Bolivia is poor because it has lost almost half its original territory over the centuries, and studies suggest landlocked countries are economically less prosperous.

Attendees at the July 9 papal Mass in Santa Cruz backed the president’s push for action on the sea access issue.

“Bolivia was born with a sea, it is our dream to get it back,” said engineering student Edson Arancibia.

“It’s important for us,” said university professor Dora Villaruel, though she opined of the president raising the issue with the pope, “It wasn’t the right time.”

 

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Sex abuse panel members discuss Chilean bishop’s appointment with cardinal

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Four lay members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors met with one of Pope Francis’ top cardinal advisers at the Vatican April 12 to voice their concerns about the appointment of a Chilean bishop, accused of covering up for an abusive priest.

The four said in a written statement the same day that Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, who is also the protection commission’s president, “agreed to present their concerns to the Holy Father” about the nomination of Bishop Juan Barros to the Diocese of Osorno, Chile.

The bishop had been accused of covering up for a priest who was known to have committed sexual abuse. Bishop Barros, however, denied having had knowledge of Father Fernando Karadima’s criminal behavior, prior to news about the abuse in the press.

Commission member Marie Collins from Ireland expressed her satisfaction with their discussion at the Vatican, posting on her Twitter feed April 13 that she was “heading home after a good meeting” with Cardinal O’Malley.

The three other members of the 17-person commission at the 30-minute meeting included Peter Saunders, Dr. Catherine Bonnet and Baroness Sheila Hollins. Collins and Saunders are both survivors of clerical sex abuse.

“Although we are not charged with dealing with individual cases, the protection of minors is our primary concern,” the four members said in their statement. “The process of appointing bishops who are committed to and have an understanding of child protection is of paramount importance.”

Bishops, they said, must be able to “enact effective policies” on sex abuse and “carefully monitor compliance.”

The commission members had scheduled their meeting with Cardinal O’Malley to coincide with his arrival in Rome for another weeklong session of the nine-member Council of Cardinals, set to start April 13.

 

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Vatican says no reason found to ‘preclude’ Chilean bishop’s appointment

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The appointment of a controversial bishop in Chile was made after a careful review found no “objective reasons” to prevent Bishop Juan Barros from taking over the Diocese of Osorno, the Vatican press office said.

The bishop had been accused of covering up for a priest who was known to have committed sexual abuse; some 3,000 demonstrators gathered outside and inside the Osorno cathedral March 21 to protest his installation as bishop.

“The Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment,” said the Vatican’s March 31 statement.

The protesters claimed Bishop Barros was complicit in the case of Father Fernando Karadima, who the Vatican in 2011 found guilty of sexually abusing minors and ordered to “retire to a life of prayer and penitence.”

Bishop Barros denied having any knowledge of Father Karadima’s crimes.

Still, several lay members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors criticized his appointment to Osorno and expressed their concern.

 

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