Though 72 percent of its population is Catholic, Chile looks at many times to be quite secular, and at other times quite Catholic. Spontaneous shrines, often markers of a tragic death, dot the country’s roadsides with crosses and religious statues. Hundreds of thousands journey to Marian feasts held throughout the country.  On issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, Chileans have recently reversed prior legal bans.  In recent years, even since some of the articles here were published, revelations of clergy sexual abuse have radically undermined the Church's credibility there, and the church's influence on the ground is seriously diminished. 


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