Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 18 January |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Maria Teresa Fasce
home iconChurch
line break icon

Vatican confident Pope Francis will be safe in Chile

YOUTH AWAITING THE ARRIVAL OF THE POPE

Martin Bernetti | AFP

Aleteia - published on 01/15/18

Handful of attacks on churches being carried out by small groups, according to official.

The Vatican isn’t making any changes to security plans for the pope’s 21st international trip, which brings him to Chile and Peru, despite a handful of attacks on churches in Chile.

According to representatives of the Church in Chile, where the pope arrives January 15, tensions are high in the country regarding clergy sexual abuse.

Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago acknowledged the crisis, but expressed his hopes that Francis’ visit would reaffirm the faith of the people and encourage evangelization.

But arsonists scrawled “the only church that illuminates is one that burns” at the site of the sixth attack, at the church of St. Augustine in the metropolitan area of Santiago.

The fire was extinguished before it destroyed the whole building, but this attack comes after five previous ones between Friday and Saturday.

“[The attackers] seem to be small groups, with limited possibilities,”a Chilean government official told the radio program BioBioChile. “The pope won’t be at any risk in his visit to Chile.”

This confidence was echoed by the National Commission for the pope’s visit. Javier Peralta, the executive director, said that the attacks “reflect that there are tensions and points that hopefully the [pope’s] visit can help to eliminate.”

Security forces are most concerned about parallel events that will take place at the same time as the pope’s public meetings. For the pope’s first Mass, for example, where 400,000 people are expected, there will be at the same time a “March of the Poor,” planned for near the same park.


ATTEMPT

Read more:
Three churches are attacked in Chile in advance of Pope Francis’ visit

The tensions surround, in part, Father Fernando Karadima, a well loved priest with a charismatic personality, who abused at least three young men as far back as the 1980s. It is claimed that credible reports made by his victims were reportedly ignored or quieted by members of the Church hierarchy, including Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz Ossa.

Pope Francis’ decisions in 2015 to make Cardinal Errázuriz Ossa part of his advisory committee and to make Errazuriz’ successor a cardinal were poorly received by many in Chile.

Pope Francis is likely to address the painful scars of sexual abuse when he meets privately with Chilean bishops on the evening of January 16. There are unconfirmed reports that he may also meet with sexual abuse survivors during this portion of the trip.

Pope Benedict XVI met with abuse survivors on numerous trips.

Tags:
Pope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
SAINT RITA CASCIA
Bret Thoman, OFS
Traces of miracles remain at the birthplace o...
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
Reasons Catholics should read the Bible
POPE JOHN PAUL II
Philip Kosloski
St. John Paul II's formula for defeating evil...
Philip Kosloski
What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.