The Pope arrived in Chile

© 2018 AFP / Vincenzo Pinto Pope Francis. Archival photoThe Pope arrived in Chile© 2018 AFP / Vincenzo Pinto

Pope Francis on Monday evening paid a visit to Chile, President Michelle Bachelet.

«Welcome to Chile, Pope Francis. You are met by a country that has changed after the visit of John Paul II. We became a more just, free and tolerant society,» Bachelet wrote in his microblog on Twitter. She posted a photo of the meeting the Pontiff at the plane.

According to the schedule, the official program of the Pope’s visit begins on Tuesday in Santiago, where he will hold the first public mass, he will meet with President Bachelet and clergy, as well as for a first visit to a women’s prison. On Wednesday and Thursday, the Pope will visit two cities of Temuco and Valdivia, where he will celebrate another mass.

According to unofficial sources, Francis can also be with the victims during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, however, in the official program of such a meeting not yet listed.

Chile is the country with the smallest influence of the Catholic Church in Latin America: according to the survey, only 37% of the population consider themselves believers. In addition, Chileans are on the last place in the region as part of the positive evaluation of the Pope. Before the visit to Chile unknown attacked several Catholic churches in protest against arrival of the Pope. Ministry of interior of Chile has stated that there is no threat to Francis during his stay on the Chilean earth.

The evening of 18 January, the Pope flies from Chile to Peru, a visit to this country will last until January 21.

On Monday, flying on to Chile over the territory of their homeland of Argentina, the Pope sent a telegram with best wishes for the Argentines in the name of President Mauricio Macri. «On behalf of all the Argentine people thank you for the greetings and the blessing of the Pope. I wish his fraternal visit to Chile and Peru was the source of peace, hope and inspiration» — wrote in his microblog on Twitter President of the Makri.