- Mar 3, 2021
Although COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have shuttered public celebrations around the world, Catholics in Chile still should find meaningful ways to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the first Mass celebrated in the country, Pope Francis said.
One curious thing about being named a cardinal of the Catholic Church is that recipients of the honor are almost always caught unaware. Celestino Aos of Chile, for example, was having Sunday breakfast Oct. 25 when he took a rather irritated phone call from his sister.
After almost a year of civil unrest, interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chileans overwhelmingly approved a bid to scrap the constitution written under the mandate of General Augusto Pinochet, a dictator who ruled the country until 1990.
Observers say it’s unclear why the two churches in Santiago, the national capital – the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the parish of the Carabineros, Santiago’s police force – were targeted.
It’s been an eventful time in Pope Francis’s native Latin America, with a new bishop apologizing for clerical sexual abuse in Chile, the bishops of Nicaragua announcing the return of public Masses after the coronavirus and the Church in Ecuador praising the country’s president for vetoing a bill that would have partially legalized abortion.
Chilean abuse survivors allege that the government is using the COVID-19 pandemic to delay having to deal with South American country’s clerical abuse scandal.