The Amazon
Pachamama

‘Dubia Cardinal’ rages against Pachamama

Cardinal Walter Brandm├╝ller, one of the two remaining “dubia cardinals” who dissented from a perceived liberal tilt in the Catholic Church, praised the men who stole┬áthe controversial “Pachamama statues” from a church in Rome during last month’s Amazon Synod and threw them into the Tiber River. The German cardinal hailed the perpetrators as “courageous prophets of today.” The statues, representing the Earth Mother deity of many traditional peoples in South America, had been used in events and rituals during the Amazon Synod, which brought together 185 bishops from across the Amazon Basin. The Synod was also attended by indigenous leaders, and issued a final statement stressing the threat of climate change and the need for a concept of “ecological sin.” (Photo: National Catholic Reporter)

Central America

El Salvador: arrest ordered in Oscar Romero killing

Days after the Catholic Church declared El Salvador's martyred Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero a saint, a judge in the Central American country issued an arrest order for a former military captain long suspected of ordering the killing of the religious leader. Judge Rigoberto Chicas issued the order for national and international authorities to apprehend Alvaro Rafael Saravia,  78. He remains at large and is believed to be in hiding. Saravia had been arrested for the crime in 1987, but the case against him was dropped when El Salvador passed its amnesty law in 1993. The case was re-opened after El Salvador's Supreme Court struck down the amnesty law in 2016. (Photo via Catholic News Agency)

Southern Cone

‘Lost kingdom’ of Patagonia stands up for Mapuche

The exiled Royal House of the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia elected Prince Frederic Luz as the new monarch—claiming dominion over a large area of Chile in the name of the region's Mapuche indigenous inhabitants. Although now dispersed in Britain and France, the Royal House traces its origin to 1860, when Orélie de Tounens was recognized as king by the Mapuche, on his pledge to help them resist Chilean encroachment on their unceded territory. In the 1870s, the territory was finally taken in a genocidal campaign by the Chilean military. De Tounens returned to Europe and campaigned for international recognition of his exiled government. The Royal House still advocates for the rights and sovereignty of the Mapuche today. (Photo: North American Araucanian Royalist Society via CraigsList Philadelphia)

The Amazon

Peru moves to protect new swath of Amazon

Peru's creation of Yaguas National Park—covering nearly 870,000 hectares of rainforest along the remote border with Colombia—is being hailed as a critical advance for protection of global biodiversity. The territory in the Putumayo river basin is roughly the size of Yellowstone National Park, but with more than 10 times the diversity of flora and fauna. Despite new areas brought under protection, forest is still being rapidly lost in Peru. A recent analysis of satellite images by th Andean Amazon Monitoring Project (MAAP) found 143,425 hectares of forest were lost across the Peruvian Amazon during 2017. (Image: Inhabit.com)

The Andes

FARC demobilization back on after court ruling

Colombia's Constitutional Court approved the government's plan for "fast track" authority to expedite congressional approval of terms for a peace deal with the FARC rebels.

Palestine

Palestine and Vatican in UN flag fracas

Two months after formally recognizing Palestine, the Vatican objected to a Palestinian request for the two observer states to be allowed to raise their flags at UN headquarters.

Southern Cone

Cardinal Bergoglio and Argentina’s Dirty War

The election of Buenos Aires’ Cardinal Bergoglio as Pope Francis deepens growing concerns about the complicity of the Catholic Church in Argentina’s “Dirty War” of the 1970s.

Watching the Shadows

Catholic sex scandal Jewish plot: papal hopeful

Alan Dershowitz calls out papal hopeful Cardinal Maradiaga of Honduras as floating conspiracy theories about how the Vatican sex scandal was instrumented by the Jews. 

Watching the Shadows

Papal poop-out propels apocalyptoids

The eschatologically obsessed are fixating on the 12th century Prophecy of Malachy, which supposedly foretells Pope Benedict's resignation as a sign of imminent doom.