Honor for pro-abortion politician was 'not an endorsement,' Vatican says (Catholic Herald) A papal award given to the Dutch abortion activist Lilianne Ploumen was not intended as an endorsement of her activities, a Vatican spokesman said. The spokesman said that Ploumen received the award—as commander of the Order of St. Gregory—because she was part of an official Dutch government delegation visiting the Vatican, and it is a standard “diplomatic practice” to confer honors on visiting delegations. Veteran Vatican observers have denied that the practice is standard.
In speech to Chilean leaders, Pope asks forgiveness for abuses (Vatican News) In a January 16 address to Chile’s political leaders, Pope Francis spoke of his “pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church.” He said that the Church is committed to helping the victims. The Pontiff also spoke of Chile’s recovery from years of authoritarian rule, and the need for forgiveness. He said that “each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations, while setting its own sights even higher.”
Pope Francis arrives in Chile (Vatican News) Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Chile and Peru, the 22nd foreign trip of his pontificate, concludes on January 22. As is customary, the Pope prayed at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore before his departure.
Chile's respect for Pope, Catholic Church dropping, polls show (BBC) As Pope Francis visits Chile, the BBC reports that a public-opinion survey gave the Pope the lowest approval ratings on record in that country for a Roman Pontiff: 5.3 on a 10-point scale. The public-approval rating for the Catholic Church was lower, with only 36% of the public expressing trust in the Church.