In an unprecedented move, all of Chile’s bishops offered to resign on Friday after attending a crisis meeting this week with Pope Francis about the cover-up of sexual abuse in the country.
Pope Francis sent an audio message for the 41st anniversary of the “Madres de Plaza de Mayo” (Mothers of Plaza de Mayo), who protested against the disappearance of their children during the Dirty War (1976-1983) of Argentina’s military dictatorship.
A magistrate in Australia has ordered Cardinal George Pell, one of the Vatican's senior-most officials, to stand trial on sexual abuse charges involving allegations from multiple individuals dating back decades.
In a letter addressed to Argentine women and men who expressed their closeness on the fifth anniversary of his pontificate March 13, Pope Francis said his love for Argentina continues to be “great and intense,” and also apologized for gestures he’s made that might have caused offense.
As Pope Francis marks the fifth year of his papacy next week, the pontiff once hailed as a fearless reformer is under fire for his handling of the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church. Since taking over in March 2013, the 81-year-old Argentine has championed the cause of the marginalized, saying he wanted a “poor church for the poor” and shunning papal palaces and ostentatious displays of wealth.
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.
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.
Four Catholic churches in Santiago were attacked with fire bombs before dawn on Friday, causing minor damage and leaving notes threatening Pope Francis just three days ahead of the pontiff’s visit to Chile next week, police said.
Bolivian President Evo Morales implied in a Tweet that he and Pope Francis had discussed Bolivia’s territorial dispute with Chile during a meeting at the Vatican on December 15. According to the Vatican, the 30-minute private meeting “took place in a cordial atmosphere.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asked Pope Francis to apologize for the role of the Catholic Church in a Canadian school system where indigenous children were abused for decades. The PM met the pontiff at the Vatican on Monday as part of his trip to Italy for the G7 summit.