The Catholic church is in the midst of an institutional crisis as allegations and evidence of sexual abuse by members of the church, and cover-ups by their superiors, continue to be exposed in immense quantities. Chile has found itself at the forefront of this scandal as various raids around the country have led authorities hundreds of cases of sexual abuse by clerics, bishops, priests, and other non-priest members of the country’s diocese.
For centuries, the dominant religion found in Latin America has been Catholicism. Having been ruled by the Spanish and Portuguese starting in the 1500s, both nations emphasized religiosity and incorporated the Church into government decisions and policies, from land distribution, to conversion and education. As a result, centuries of the Christian religion and in many cases hegemony over indigenous religions pushed Latin America to be 90 percent Catholic, as of 1910.
“There's just so many ways that we need to go about it. I know that it's often said that teen pregnancy is a cause of poverty. But I'm thinking this is something that exists before the pregnancy in many cases. And so that's something that we need to go to the root of. It's not enough to say that if we are to reduce teen pregnancy rates that it's going to solve that issue of poverty among Latinos.”1