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' trip to South America is supposed to be all about peace, unity and hope. But the pontiff could also be welcomed with protests, threats of violence and controversy over allegations of abuses by the Catholic Church. Argentina born Francis comes to his home continent for a two-country, six-city apostolic visit that starts in Chile this Monday and ends in Peru a week later.
Argentine president Cristina Fernández has formally accepted an invitation by her Cuban counterpart Raul Castro to attend a mass Pope Francis will deliver in the Plaza de La Revolucion in Havana on September 20.
Under the heading of The Peronist pope, The Economist has a piece on Francis's balancing act in Latin America dedicated to the eight day tour of three of the continent's poorest countries, but with the largest percentages of Catholics. But for Francis it is also a delicate balancing act since several current leaders in the region tend to blend the Church's 'option for the poor' with Marxist ideology.
Pope Francis, wrapping up on Sunday his three-country tour of South America, urged people living in a flood-prone shantytown in Paraguay to stay united in their struggle for better living and working conditions.
President Cristina Fernández was present on Sunday in the Paraguayan capital, Asunción to hear Pope Francis give mass during his visit, and greeted the Argentine citizens who had travelled to see the leader of the Catholic church. The head of state left the open mass at around midday, handing Francis a gift before retiring after witnessing the ceremony with Paraguayan counterpart Horacio Cartés.
Bolivian president Evo Morales revealed on Friday that Pope Francis told him that there are three pending issues in the continent, Puerto Rico, Falklands/Malvinas and Bolivia's sea outlet claim. The pope has been recognized by all sides as the 'bridge' which helped bring together Cuba and the US after over half a century of mutual distancing.
Pope Francis urged Paraguay to consolidate democracy and end corruption and drug trafficking, after receiving a colorful welcome on Friday at the start of the last leg of his eight-day South American tour.
Pope Francis, a champion of the poor and social justice, on Thursday called on a million faithful to reject today's consumer society, at an open-air mass in Bolivia. On the second stop of his three-nation tour of South America, the pope addressed the throng in the vast Christ the Redeemer Plaza in Santa Cruz, including many people who camped out overnight to see him.
Pope Francis greeted Bolivia with a message of inclusion, a central theme of his three-nation tour to his home continent, as he arrived in South America's poorest nation. Landing in La Paz early in the evening, thousands of faithful -- many of whom had spent a chilly night outdoors waiting for him -- welcomed the pope as choirs sang in the indigenous Aymara language.