The Catholic Church in Latin America has pledged to fight to end poverty and oppression.?
SV & PAN Catholic priests in procession outside Latin American conference centre in Puebla.
GV Priests in procession as crowds look on. (2 SHOTS)
GV Priests assembled on rostrum.
GV Bishop reading speech.
GV Priests seated holding standards.
GV & PAN Women holding standards with priests sitting on rostrum.
GV Priests in procession.
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Background: The Catholic Church in Latin America has pledged to fight to end poverty and oppression. A final declaration by Latin American Bishops meeting in Puebla attacked "scandalous inequality" caused by unfettered capitalism and harsh military regimes.
SYNOPSIS: A last minute row disrupted the conference on Tuesday (13 February) and brought to a head what has been called. "the differences in mentality and opinions" that have plagued the meeting from the beginning.
The row centred around a sermon delivered by a conservative Bishop who opposes progressive theology which emphasises political action by the Church against injustice. The Bishop's conference, had been opened two weeks ago, by the churches' supreme leader Pope John Paul the Second who called for profound economic and political reforms.
The final statement of the conference is likely to spur opposition to authoritarian governments in South America, where half the world's 730 million Catholics live. The 70,000 word statement repeatedly attacked the philosophy and actions of the military regimes which dominate the continent.