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Jul 11, 2015

Pope lauds Paraguay’s ‘most glorious women of America’

CAACUPE, Paraguay (Reuters) – Pope Francis praised Paraguay’s women for rebuilding their nation from the ashes of war in the nineteenth century in a mass at the country’s most sacred religious site on Saturday.

Thousands of Argentines crossed the border to see their native son, nearing the end of a “homecoming” tour of South America in which he has urged the downtrodden to change the world economic order, warned of irreversible harm to the planet and walked among prisoners.

Jul 10, 2015

Pope urges Paraguay to consolidate democracy, end drug trade, graft

ASUNCION, Paraguay (Reuters) – Pope Francis urged Paraguay to consolidate democracy and end corruption and drug trafficking, after receiving a colorful welcome on Friday at the start of the last leg of his eight-day South American tour.

The Argentine-pontiff was in Bolivia earlier in the day where he visited one of Latin America’s most violent prisons. There, saying he too had made mistakes and sinned, the pope called on inmates to shun gang violence and exhorted guards to treat them with dignity..

Jul 10, 2015
via FaithWorld

Pope Francis calls for new economic order, criticises capitalism

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(Pope Francis looks to the side as he attends a World Meeting of Popular Movements with Bolivia’s President Evo Morales (not pictured) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, July 9, 2015. REUTERS/David Mercado)

Pope Francis on Thursday urged the downtrodden to change the world economic order, denouncing a “new colonialism” by agencies that impose austerity programs and calling for the poor to have the “sacred rights” of labour, lodging and land.

Jul 10, 2015
via FaithWorld

Bolivian ‘communist crucifix’ gift to Pope Francis surprises Vatican

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(Pope Francis receives a gift from Bolivian President Evo Morales (L) in La Paz, Bolivia, July 8, 2015.
Reuters/Osservatore Romano)

The Vatican acknowledged it was taken by surprise to discover that a wooden hammer and sickle sculpture with a figure of a crucified Christ gifted to the Pope in Bolivia was not commissioned by leftist president Evo Morales but designed by a priest killed in 1980.

Jul 10, 2015

Shun gangs, have hope, Pope tells inmates at violent Bolivian jail

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (Reuters) – Saying he too had made mistakes and sinned, Pope Francis on Friday urged inmates at one of Latin America’s most violent prisons to shun gang violence and exhorted guards to treat them with dignity.

“The man standing before you is a man who has experienced forgiveness. A man who was, and is, saved from his many sins,” the pope told hundreds of prisoners and their children on a visit to a place one long-time inmate likened to “Sodom and Gomorrah”.

Jul 10, 2015

Pope calls for new economic order, criticizes capitalism

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Thursday urged the downtrodden to change the world economic order, denouncing a “new colonialism” by agencies that impose austerity programs and calling for the poor to have the “sacred rights” of labor, lodging and land.

In one of the longest, most passionate and sweeping speeches of his pontificate, the Argentine-born pope also asked forgiveness for the sins committed by the Roman Catholic Church in its treatment of native Americans during what he called the “so-called conquest of America.”

Jul 9, 2015

Bolivian ‘communist crucifix’ gift to Pope surprises Vatican

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (Reuters) – The Vatican acknowledged it was taken by surprise to discover that a wooden hammer and sickle sculpture with a figure of a crucified Christ gifted to the Pope in Bolivia was not commissioned by leftist president Evo Morales but designed by a priest killed in 1980.

The blending of the symbol of communism, under which many Christians were persecuted in the former Soviet bloc and still are in some communist countries, provoked outrage among Catholic officials.

Jul 9, 2015

Poor, hungry, cannot be ignored, pope says in Bolivia

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (Reuters) – Pope Francis, at a Mass for hundreds of thousands of people in Bolivia, said on Thursday that everyone had a moral duty to help the poor, and that those with means could not wish they would just “go away.”

The 78-year-old pontiff, on the fifth day of his three-nation tour of South America, is showing a few signs of fatigue but generally appears to be holding up well despite the changes in altitude and temperature.

Jul 9, 2015

Pope praises Bolivia’s reforms, pays tribute to slain priest

LA PAZ, Bolivia (Reuters) – Pope Francis arrived in Bolivia on Wednesday, praising the government of leftist President Evo Morales, the country’s first indigenous leader whose frosty relationship with the Catholic Church has begun to thaw under the Argentine pontiff’s papacy.

Morales has nationalized key industries such as oil and gas to finance social programs that have slashed poverty in the Andean country, where animal sacrifices and pagan worship remain widely cherished.

Jul 8, 2015

Pope’s ‘homecoming’ tour moves from Ecuador to Bolivia

QUITO (Reuters) – Pope Francis flies to Bolivia on Wednesday after drawing about 1.5 million people to Masses in Ecuador on the first leg of a “homecoming” tour, where he urged the world to take better care of the environment and the poor.

The Argentine-born pontiff was spending his last few hours at a home for the elderly in Ecuador’s highland capital Quito and a shrine just outside the city where he was to meet priests, nuns and seminarians.