Pope Francis is sending a representative, a sex crimes expert, to Chile to investigate whether a bishop there covered up years of abuse, the Vatican announced. The announcement comes after the pope faced backlash earlier this month during a visit to Chile.
Pope Francis has apologized for remarks he made last week in Chile defending a bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse. He said he realized his words hurt many, but repeated his belief that Chilean Bishop Juan Barros was innocent. Francis was speaking to journalists on board a plane flying back to Rome.
More than one million people turned out Sunday for Pope Francis’ final Mass in Peru, giving him a warm and heartfelt farewell that contrasted sharply with the outcry he caused in neighboring Chile by accusing sex abuse victims of slandering a bishop.
Pope Francis made a forceful call to combat corruption in Peru, calling it a social “virus” a month after the Andean nation’s president pardoned a former autocratic leader who had been jailed for graft and human rights abuses.
From deep in the Amazon rainforest, Pope Francis demanded on Friday that corporations stop their relentless extraction of timber, gas and gold from God's “holy ground,” and called on governments to recognize the indigenous peoples living there as the primary forces in determining its future.
Pope Francis celebrated the first-ever airborne papal wedding on Thursday, marrying two flight attendants from Chile’s flagship airline at 36,000 feet during a flight from Santiago.
Pope Francis urged Chile’s indigenous Mapuche people on Wednesday to shun violence, saying unity was the best weapon against “the deforestation of hope,” as they struggle to defend their culture and reclaim ancestral lands.
Pope Francis publicly expressed pain and shame on Tuesday over the rape and molestation of children by priests in Chile and later listened, prayed and cried at a private meeting with victims. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the meeting took place in the Vatican embassy in Santiago.
On his first full day in Chile on Tuesday Pope Francis immediately confronted the issue of sex abuse by the country's Catholic clergy, apologized and said he felt ashamed -- just hours after several Chilean churches were reportedly firebombed.
While overflying Argentine territory on Monday, in his trip to Chile for a three-day visit, Pope Francis sent his “warm greetings” to President Mauricio Macri and called on his fellow Argentines not to forget to pray for him, in his twenty second apostolic trip, which also includes Peru.