The Latest: Small crowds greet pope on first visit to Chile

Associated Press via WSB-TV

January 15, 2018

The latest on Pope Francis’ visit to Latin America (all times local):

9:20 p.m.

Thousands of people have lined avenues in Chile’s capital to get a glimpse of Pope Francis as he passes by in his popemobile.

But compared to papal visits to other Latin American countries, the crowds are very thin, in many areas a single line of people.

Francis’ first visit to Chile as the head of the Roman Catholic Church comes at a time when many Chileans are skeptical of the church and even angry over one of the pope’s decisions. In 2015, Francis appointed a bishop who had been close to the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who abused dozens of minors over decades.

Some people cheered “Long live the pope!” when he passed by.

Others carried signs criticizing the pope or extolling him to act. “Stop the abuse, Francis!” read one sign. “You can so you must!”


7:15 p.m.

Pope Francis has landed in Chile, where protests are expected over his decision to appoint a bishop who was close to the Andean nation’s most notorious pedophile priest.

Francis’ arrival Monday night marks his first visit to Chile since becoming pope in 2013.

After deplaning, he’ll meet with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

Over the next three days, Francis is scheduled to celebrate Mass in Santiago, the southern city of Temuco and the northern city of Iquique. On Thursday, the pope will go to Peru.

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