As you know, EWTN is featuring the papal visit on TV and in its news reports so hopefully you have been able to spend some time with the Pope in Chile. Following are more news reports from the Vatican News and reporters on the ground with the Holy Father.

If you’ll allow me, I have very special prayer request to make. My six-month old niece Maren (the 23rd of my 23 great-nieces and –nephews) is having surgery tomorrow morning in Chicago to repair a hole in her heart. Doctors are optimistic and that is good but even better is prayer! Heartfelt thanks!


Announcement from Holy See Press Office Tuesday evening: Today at the Apostolic Nunciature in Santiago, Pope Francis met alone and privately with several victims of sexual abuse by clergy. The Pope prayed and cried with them after hearing their experiences.


(Vatican News – Linda Bordoni) – Pope Francis has urged bishops in Chile to be on guard against the temptation of Clericalism. Meeting his brother bishops in the Sacristy of Santiago Cathedral, the Pope recalled the ad limina visit in the Vatican about a year ago and said he wished to reiterate some of the points made during that meeting in Rome.

“I can sum them up in the following phrase: the consciousness of being a people” he said. Warned against the sense of not belonging He said “one of the problems facing our societies today is the sense of being orphaned, the feeling of not belonging to anyone”.

It’s a “postmodern” feeling, he continued, that can seep into us and into our clergy and make us think that we belong to no one: “we forget that we are part of God’s holy and faithful people and that the Church is not, nor will it ever be, an élite of consecrated men and women, priests and bishops”.

Priests are servants, not masters

Without this consciousness of belonging to God’s people as servants, not masters, the Pope said, “can lead us to one of the temptations that is most damaging to the missionary outreach that we are called to promote: clericalism, which ends up as a caricature of the vocation we have received”. He said that a failure to realize that the mission belongs to the entire Church, and not to the individual priest or bishop, limits the horizon, and even worse, stifles all the initiatives that the Spirit may be awakening in our midst. Clericalism extinguishes the prophetic flame to which we are called to bear witness

Francis reminded the bishops that, “laypersons are not our peons, or our employees” and said that “Clericalism, far from giving impetus to various contributions and proposals, gradually extinguishes the prophetic flame to which the entire Church is called to bear witness”. He strongly invited those present to be on guard against this temptation, especially in seminaries and throughout the process of formation.

The gift of dreaming

He implored the Holy Spirit for “the gift of dreaming and working for a missionary and prophetic option capable of transforming everything, so that our customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and ecclesial structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelization of Chile rather than for ecclesiastical self-preservation”

“Let us not be afraid,” Pope Francis concluded, “to strip ourselves of everything that separates us from the missionary mandate”.


Click here for a slide show from CNS story in Boston Pilot on papal encounter with priests, Religious in Santiago: https://www.thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?utm_source=ConstantContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Dailynewsletter&ID=181278

(Vatican News – Robin Gomes)

Reflecting on the transformation of St. Peter the Apostle, Pope Francis urged Chilean priests, religious and seminarians to be a prophetic Church, which washed of her sins is not afraid to go out and serve a wounded humanity. Speaking to them in the Cathedral of Santiago, Tuesday evening, the Pope dwelt on John’s Gospel where Peter, disillusioned after the Resurrection, goes back to fishing but catches nothing. However, at the Lord’s behest, he casts the net on the right side and comes up with a miraculous haul of fish.

Transformation of Peter

Pope Francis reminded the priests and religious about the personal and communitarian dimensions of their vocation. He thus reflected on Peter and the community ‎disheartened,  Peter and the community shown mercy, and Peter and the community transfigured. Speaking about the “hours of dismay and confusion” in the life of Peter in the aftermath of the ‎Resurrection, the Pope acknowledged that in times “when the tempest of persecutions, tribulations, doubts, and so forth, is raised by ‎cultural and historical events, it is not easy to find the path to follow.” ‎But, he said, the “worst temptation of all is to keep dwelling on our own unhappiness”

Pain of abuse of minors

Alongside the “fidelity of the immense majority” of priests and religious, the Pope admitted there are also “weeds of evil and their aftermath of scandal and desertion”. Pope Francis particularly spoke about the “pain resulting from cases of abuse of minors” in the Church of Chile, which he said cause harm and sufferings to the victims and their families, to ecclesial communities and also to priests and religious themselves. He thus urged them to ask God for the grace of “clear-sightedness to call reality by its name, the strength to seek forgiveness and the ability to listen to what He tells us.”

Journey of conversion

Amidst changes taking place in Chilean society, Pope Francis urged the priests and religious to fight the temptation of being closed and isolated and defending their ways, forgetting that the “Gospel is a journey of conversion.”

Pointing out that Peter experienced his limitation, his frailty and his sinfulness, Pope Francis said that as disciples and Church “we have to face not our success but our weakness”. Jesus wants to save Peter from self-centredness and isolation, from bring downcast and negative.

Wounded Church heals world’s wounds

The one thing that sustains his apostles, the Pope said, is that they have received mercy. Priests and religious, he said are not superheroes or better than others, but “are sent as men and women conscious of having been forgiven.” Just as Jesus did not hide his wounds, so too we are “not asked to ignore or hide our wounds,” the Pope said, adding, “a Church with wounds can understand the wounds of today’s world and make them her own, suffering with them, accompanying them and seeking to heal them.” “A wounded Church does not make herself the centre of things,… but puts at the centre the one who can heal those wounds, whose name is Jesus Christ.”

The acknowledgement that we are wounded, the Pope said, frees us from becoming self-referential and thinking ourselves superior.” Our wounds that are risen in Jesus, inspire solidarity; they help us to tear down the walls that enclose us in elitism and they impel us to build bridges and to encounter all those yearning for that merciful love which Christ alone can give.

Kingdom of heaven

The problem the Pope said, is not feeding the poor, clothing the naked and visiting the sick, but rather recognizing that the poor, the naked, the sick, prisoners and the homeless have the dignity to sit at our table, to feel “at home” among us, to feel part of a family. “This is the sign that the kingdom of heaven is in our midst. This is the sign of a Church wounded by sin, shown mercy by the Lord, and made prophetic by his call,” the Pope added.


(Vatican News – Linda Bordoni) – Pope Francis greeted the inmates of Santiago’s San Joaquin Women’s Penitentiary Center and encouraged them to resist everything that might rob them of their identity and end up by killing their hope. He also appealed to authorities to promote projects that render jail sentences opportunities for personal growth.

It was one of those meetings that are clearly at the top of Pope Francis’ agenda. Taking his time to hold hands and kiss babies as he made his way to the podium set up in a simple space decked with coloured ribbons and hundreds of paper origami doves, each one bearing the name of a prison inmate, the Pope set a gentle and joyful mood with simple gestures, eye contact and a smile.

Never lose hope or dignity

He told the some 650 inmates, many of them with babies and small children, never to lose their hope or their dignity just because they’ve lost their freedom.

Everyone is a sinner

Quoting from the Gospel of John in which Jesus says: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone” Pope Francis told the women that everyone is a sinner, and that change is always possible.

Prison sentences must offer opportunity for growth

Setting aside his prepared speech, to the applause of the women he said: “No one can take away your dignity” and called for prison sentences to not just serve as punishment, but to be a chance for inmates to learn new trades so they can re-enter society when they have completed their sentences.

And turning to Janeth, the woman who addressed him on behalf of “the almost 50,000 men and women deprived of their liberty in Chile,” the Pope said: “thank you for your courageous request for forgiveness, for reminding us that without this attitude we lose our humanity. We forget that we did wrong and that every day is an invitation to start over”.

An appeal to women to bring forth the future

Pope Francis, the friend of the poor and of the discarded frequently visits detention centers during his apostolic journeys. Tuesday’s visit to San Joaquin in Santiago was his first-ever visit to a women’s facility, and to his all-female audience he said: “As women, you have an incredible ability to adapt to new circumstances and move forward. Today I appeal to that ability to bring forth the future that is alive in each one of you. That ability enables you to resist everything that might rob you of your identity and end up by killing your hope. A hope, Janeth said in her speech, that hangs on the fact that “We know that God forgives us, but we ask that society does so as well”.


TEMUCO, Chile (AP) — Pope Francis traveled to the heart of Chile’s centuries-old conflict with indigenous peoples Wednesday, celebrating Mass at a former military base that not only lies on contested Mapuche land but also was a former detention center used during Chile’s brutal dictatorship.

Leading around 150,000 people in a moment of silent prayer, Francis said the fertile green fields and snow-capped mountains of Araucania were both blessed by God and cursed by man, the site of “grave human rights violations” during the 1973-1990 dictatorship.

“We offer this Mass for all those who suffered and died, and for those who daily bear the burden of those many injustices,” he said.

Francis also referred to the more recent violence that has flared in southern Araucania as radical Mapuche factions press for the return of their lands, including a recent spate of church burnings that preceded his visit. No one has claimed responsibility for the 10 firebombs that have damaged, or in some cases burned churches to the ground in recent days.

The Argentine Jesuit pope took those factions to task, saying violence wasn’t the answer to their grievances.

“You cannot assert yourselves by destroying others, because this only leads to more violence and division,” he admonished in his homily. “Violence begets violence, destruction increases fragmentation and separation. Violence eventually makes a most just cause into a lie.” https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/pope-goes-to-restive-area-in-chile-where-churches-are-burned/