Health & Spirit

In Peru, pope laments the state of urban poor

Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Religious News

Indeed, Francis had issued a strong apology for clerical sexual abuse during his visit to Chile.

The pope and his entourage boarded a flight for Rome shortly before 7 p.m., just as dusk was falling.

The pontiff -- who assumed the papacy in March 2013, becoming the first pope from the Americas -- concluded his 22nd apostolic visit abroad. He has visited 33 nations.

Earlier Sunday, at a meeting with Peruvian bishops, the Argentine-born pope ventured into the thorny realm of politics in his native continent, where corruption scandals have rocked a number of nations, notably Peru. The pope expressed extreme pessimism about the state of regional politics.

"Of course there are exceptions, but in general the politics in Latin America is more ill than well," Francis told Peruvian bishops gathered at the headquarters of the archdiocese of Lima. "The crisis is not just (in) Peru, it's a problem that Latin America suffers, a great lack of confidence."

Especially troubling, he noted, was the tumultuous political panorama in Peru, where corruption charges have tainted the terms of several former presidents and almost resulted in the impeachment last year of the current president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

"What is going on in Peru that every time a president leaves they put him in prison?" Francis asked the bishops, referring to corruption cases against several prior presidents.

Kuczynski, who met with the pope several times during his visit here -- including a meeting at the airport on Sunday just before Francis departed -- narrowly avoided impeachment in December on corruption allegations that he denied.

But Kuczynski subsequently pardoned another ex-president, Alberto Fujimori, who had served less than half of a 25-year sentence for human rights abuses and corruption. The pardon was widely viewed in Peru as a political deal arranged with pro-Fujimori lawmakers to avert Kuczynski's ouster.

The pope, who repeatedly denounced violence during his trip, also took a swipe at the region's jails and prisons, which are often overcrowded and subject to corruption and gang rule.


swipe to next page


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Mallard Fillmore Rudy Park Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee Andy Marlette Dogs of C-Kennel BC