Accusations of physical, psychological and sexual abuse by leaders of a Catholic movement founded here in the 1970s led the group to pledge an internal investigation.
Pope Francis' upcoming encyclical on ecology and climate is expected to send a strong moral message -- one message that could make some readers uncomfortable, some observers say.
"The encyclical will address the issue of inequality in the distribution of resources and topics such as the wasting of food and the irresponsible exploitation of nature and the consequences for people's life and health," Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru, told Catholic News Service.
Latin American church leaders apologized for historical complicity with colonial atrocities in the Amazon and called for a church with an "Amazonian face" in a pastoral letter issued as negotiators from around the world met for a climate summit here.
"The exploitation of the Amazon through mining, the expansion of farming and ranching, road construction, hydroelectric dams and timber companies demand that the church take a more prophetic stance," they wrote.
Dwarfed by the grown-ups holding banners and signs around her, Ruby Arizabal clutched a doll in one hand and a candle in the other.
As protests in Venezuela continued, with flare-ups of violence, the country's Catholic leaders urged dialogue and respect for the demonstrators' human rights.
"We have called for the social and political leaders to engage in deep, sincere dialogue" to address the country's serious problems, including high rates of violent crime and economic difficulties that have caused a scarcity of some basic consumer goods, Caracas Auxiliary Bishop Jesus Gonzalez de Zarate, secretary-general of the Venezuelan bishops' conference, told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview.
For days, the desperate mother had hovered around the ward called Santa Rosa, the infectious disease wing at the huge, teeming Dos de Mayo public hospital in downtown Lima.
Finally, she saw her chance.
"A patient had just died. The woman ran through the ward, jumped on the bed and said, 'This is for my son, Sandro,' " Maryknoll Fr. Joe Fedora recalled. "She had been waiting for days."
Of all the parts of her tiny, wooden house on a parched hillside at the city's edge, Emilia Lazo Campos is proudest of the bathroom. The tiles gleam despite the dust. There's even a shower -- in case Lazo and her family ever get water service.
But the most important part, to her, is the dry latrine -- an "ecological bathroom," as she calls it -- which requires no water for flushing, has no odor, attracts no flies like her old latrine did, and will eventually produce compost that she can use for a small garden.