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Chile church burned after Pope visit

Another church was burned to the ground in Chile on Saturday, days after the departure of Pope Francis.

Posted: Jan. 20, 2018 2:09 PM
Updated: Jan. 20, 2018 2:09 PM

Another church was burned to the ground in Chile on Saturday, days after the departure of Pope Francis.

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A few days before Francis arrived, a group angry about the cost of the papal visit briefly occupied the nunciature in Santiago where the pontiff would sleep.

The same day, several churches were burned down. in the days that followed duringFranciss' visit several, more churches were torched, along with three helicopters.

It was unclear who was behind the arson attacks. pamphlets were found outside some of the churches that supported the cause of indigenous mapuche.

Chile has changed radically, from its economy to politics, in less than a generation. those changes, combined with a pedophile priest scandal and what many argue was a bungled response by the church, has accelerated a move away from Catholicism.

One of the pope's sharply contested decisions - to appoint a chilean bishop with close ties to the country's most notorious pedophile priest - soured many on the visit before it even began.

The mapuche, Chile's largest indigenous group, are fighting for a return of ancestral lands, recognition of their language and an end to discrimination.

Much of Francis' trip was dedicated to the conflict. during his homily in the heart of mapuche territory, he took both the mapuche and chilean officials to task, calling for a halt to violence and for government engagement that goes beyond just "elegant" agreements.

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