News

Chile churches attacked before Pope Francis visit

Chile churches attacked before Pope Francis visit
World
Three churches in the capital Santiago were damaged by firebombs. Some flyers left behind warned that the next one was for the Pope.

But at another church south of the capital, a pamphlet used a phrase that refers to activism in the indigenous Mapuche territory.

President Michelle Bachelet described the incidents as "very strange".

"In a democracy, people can express themselves as long as they do it in a peaceful way," she told a radio station on Friday, adding that the attacks could not yet be tied to a particular group.

No one has been arrested for the attacks, which caused no injuries. The Vatican is yet to comment.

Pope Francis has made compassion and support for migrants and the needy a major theme of his papacy. But notes left at one of the attacked churches reportedly complained that money spent on his visit could be better used on the poor.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionPope Francis urged people to "see Jesus" in the oppressed

The Pope will hold mass on Tuesday in a Santiago park and hundreds of thousands of people are expected to turn out.

The pontiff will also meet Mapuche leaders on his visit to Chile.

They say vast privately owned estates and huge timber plantations have left their lands in the extreme south of Chile environmentally depleted and their people mired in poverty, says BBC World Service Americas Editor Candace Piette.
Read more on bbc.com
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
World
Pope Francis arrives at Maquehue airport in Temuco, 800 km south of Santiago, to celebrate an open air mass on Jan. 17, 2018.   CLAUDIO REYES / AFP/GETTY IMAGES    Peter Prengaman Wed., Jan....
World
SANTIAGO, CHILE—Authorities in Chile say three Roman Catholic churches have been firebombed days before Pope Francis is set to visit the Andean nation. The attacks happened overnight in Santiago, the...
World
Pope Francis has made history by performing a wedding ceremony for two flight attendants on board a plane travelling between cities in Chile. Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, and Carlos Ciuffardi...
World
Pope Francis delivers a speech as he meets with Bishops at the Sacristy of the Cathedral of Santiago, Chile on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Luca Zennaro/Pool Published Wednesday, January 17,...
World
Looking to put Chile s sex abuse scandal behind him, Pope Francis dives Wednesday into another divisive issue roiling the South American nation the plight of the indigenous Mapuche and...