Pope Francis landed in Santiago, Chile starting a six-city visit to Chile and Peru. He landed in Santiago after a 15-hour flight from Rome and was greeted by Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s President. Pope Francis blessed the airport workers and told the crowd he was happy to be in Chile. He was taken to the Papal nunciature, which will be his home for the three days he stays in Chile.
On January 17th Pope Francis will visit Temuco and meet the Mapuche indigenous community. This community has asked the government to return confiscated land that was taken back in 1980.
The Pope is no stranger to Chile, as he told reporters during the flight “Chile won’t be too difficult for me because I studied there for a year and I have many friends there, and I know it well, or rather, well enough. Peru, however, I know less. I have gone maybe two, three times for conferences and meetings.”
While some Catholic churches were bombed days prior to the visit, security was not increased, and the bombers left behind pamphlets stating, “The next bombs will be in your cassock” and referred to the Mapuche land crisis.
On January 18th Pope Francis will visit Iquique and celebrate a mass on Lobito beach after which he will be taken to visit Peru, starting with Lima, then Puerto Maldonado and conclude his South American visit in Trujillo.
Before flying to Peru Jan. 18, Pope Francis will visit Iquique, where he will celebrate Mass on Lobito beach.
While visiting Puerto Maldonado the Pope will meet with indigenous Amazon tribespeople suffering from massive deforestation that is leading to ecological destruction on a massive scale.
Pope Francis will discuss the issues of Church scandals trying to rebuild trust between the populace and the church.