Church in Chile ‘shocked,’ ‘perplexed’ over abuse crisis, locals say

Release Date: 
May 18, 2019

Though it’s been diminishing for a while, more so in some places than others, the influence of the Catholic Church across Latin America is still undeniable. Chile is no exception, especially given that the Church here was at the forefront of the defense of human rights during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

The Church’s standing in Chile right now, however, is taking a historic beating.

According to the latest poll by the International Social Survey Program, the credibility of the Church among Chileans is today at a historic low, going from 51 percent of trust in 1998 to 13 percent in October 2018.

In May of last year, Pope Francis diagnosed part of the problem: a culture of clerical sexual abuse and cover-up.