Bishops struggle to put out fires across a Latin America ‘in flames’


Nov. 28, 2019

By Elise Harris

On the way back from Thailand and Japan this week, Pope Francis turned his attention to upheaval in his home continent of Latin America, evocatively insisting that it’s currently in “flames,” largely due to what he called “weak governments” unable to bring peace.

The pope isn’t alone. As tensions mount and crises in individual countries gain force, bishops in the region are scrambling to keep things from spinning out of control.

Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte of Trujillo, Peru, president of the Episcopal Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM), has issued several statements over the past week urging both political leaders and citizens in the region to keep the peace.

As president of CELAM, Cabrejos said the organization is following “with great interest the recent events of political and social upheaval that are occurring in the region of Central America,” urging parties to “end all forms of violence, wherever it comes from, and to continue looking for paths of dialogue that will allow us to achieve permanent peace.”

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