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.
The Vatican has announced that it will reveal its classified archives on the desaparecidos (disappeared) of Argentina to the families of the victims.1 The decades-old documents contain communications between the Catholic Church in Argentina and the military government about the thousands of government kidnappings and murders of civilians during the military dictatorship of 1976-1983.2 Pope Francis, who himself was a cardinal in his native Argentina during the time of the dictatorship, led t
Monday, September 21, 2015, marked the one year anniversary of the death of Paola Acosta, a woman who suffered her fate at the hands of her ex-partner1, Gonzalo Lizarralde. She was raped, killed and dumped in a sewer together with her one-year-old daughter, Martina, who she had in common with her attacker. Remarkably, Martina survived. Wednesday, September 23, Gonzalo Lizarralde, marked the first day of the prosecution for the murder of Paola2.
Since becoming Pope, Pope Francis has been celebrated around the world as not only a religious figure, but also an unofficial diplomat. Pope Francis has traveled around the world and given a number of addresses during his time as Pope thus far. Yet, though a religious leader, the Pope’s addresses are never simply religious. Instead, his message has weighed in on a number of political topics, including immigration and US-Cuba relations during his most recent visit to both countries.
Speaking to a crowd in the southern state of Chiapas in February, a region with the largest indigenous population in Mexico, Pope Francis condemned what he called “the systemic and organized way your people have been misunderstood and excluded from society” (Puella and Bernstein, 2016). These misunderstandings and exclusion have created in Mexico a situation in which indigenous communities face significantly higher rates of poverty, a problem that impacts their overall quality of life and access to basic resources for 12.6 percent of the population.
On February 13, 2016, Pope Francis spoke to a crowd in the violent suburb of Ecatepec, in the vicinity of Mexico City. Among many other missions, his speech in this poor neighborhood was aimed at the corruption found within many levels of Mexican society.