The Pope’s latest tour has been met with firebombed churches, protests and arrests

The Pope
Support us and go ad-free

The Pope arrived in Chile on 15 January only to be greeted by mass protests about the Catholic church’s handling of dozens of sex abuse cases. At least ten churches were firebombed and protesters were arrested by riot police in Santiago as the Pope greeted the crowd in a ceremony in the capital.

It is expected that mass demonstrations will continue as Pope Francis tours the Latin American country, traditionally considered a stronghold of the church. Francis is Latin American himself, and was born in Argentina.

Abuse

Recent allegations involving priest Fernando Karadima have seriously damaged the church’s image.

Karadima was a trusted priest who abused dozens of boys in the wealthy diocese of Vitacura in Santiago. Karadima, who denies the allegations, was found guilty by the Vatican but not convicted. He was instead ordered to live a life of “penance and prayer”. His protégé Juan Barros was accused of covering up Karadima’s crimes.

Fury erupted when Bishop Barros was re-appointed in Osorno in southern Chile in 2015.

As a result of the church’s refusal to punish the abusers, angry Catholics have turned their back on the church. An independent poll found that those who identified themselves as Catholic fell from 74% in 1995 to just 45% in 2017.

Juan Carlos Claret, spokesperson for the Osorno protesters, said:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

People are leaving the church because they don’t find a protective space there. The pastors are eating the flock.

Apologies are not enough

The Pope has apologised, saying:

Here I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some minsters of the church

But some believe that the church’s response is simply not good enough.

Pope Francis is due to meet victims of General Pinochet’s dictatorship, which lasted from 1973 until 1990. He will also meet Mapuche (indigenous) leaders and visit a women’s prison in a bid to restore community relationships. But the church’s mishandling of sex abuse criminals has turned his homecoming trip into a controversial apology tour.

Get Involved!

– Join the campaign to ‘stop church child abuse’ here.

Image via Long Thiên/Flickr

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed