Pope Francis arrives in Chile

Pope Francis arrives in Chile

"Having doubts and fears is not a sin", said the Pope. But now, the Catholic Church in Chile has been largely marginalized, criticized as out-of-touch with today's secular youth and discredited by its botched handling of a notorious pedophile priest.

Next week's travels will be the pope's 22nd oversees trip and the sixth to his home continent.

Pope Francis told those gathered at St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday that while fear was an understandable human response, it should not lead to anger and rejection. Some of the pamphlets left Friday outside the firebombed churches in Santiago exhorted the Mapuche cause.

Chile's largest indigenous group resisted conquest for 300 years, until military defeats in the late 19th century forced them into Araucania.

Later, while greeting about 25,000 people in St Peter's Square, Francis reiterated a past theme of four ways of treating migrants: "welcome, protect, promote and integrate".

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Chile is the Latin American country where the pope is least valued, receiving an approval rating of 5.3 out of 10, according to a poll by the NGO Corporacion Latinobarometro.

Most of the newcomers are Haitians.

Hugo Alcaman, president of ENAMA, a Mapuche group that encourages local businesses and advocates social change, condemned the attacks.

Peru's president estimates it will take $9 billion for the country to rebuild within five years.

Chile's Catholic churches have been struggling to improve their image after a sex scandal involving Rev. Fernando Karadima. According to Crux, a Catholic news outlet, Karadima was convicted of pedophilia and abuse of his position in 2011 and was sentenced to a life of penitence and prayer.

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Osorno dissidents are planning protests in Santiago to coincide with Francis' arrival Monday. Francis often talks about the problems of corruption, saying that it hurts the poor the most.

Francis' visit to Chile and Peru aims to highlight immigration, the suffering of indigenous peoples and protecting the Amazon rainforest.

Francis has called the Synod on the Amazon to bring bishops and cardinals from around the world to the Vatican to propose new ways to minister to Amazonian people and care for the "lung" of the Earth.

The Argentine pope will stay in Chile until Thursday and then travel to neighbouring Peru, where an quake killed one person and injured dozens on Sunday.

As politicians and civil society grapple with the mass movement of people around the world, with flashpoints including in the Mediterranean, and between Myanmar and Bangladesh, the pope has repeatedly urged support for those who migrate.

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