Religion: Collision in Latin America

For generations, the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America was identified with the rich and the few "good families" who controlled most countries. In the 1960s, Vatican II's pressures for social reform began to exert dramatic changes. Today, the Catholic clergy has been drawn into conflict with conservative regimes throughout Latin America—especially in Brazil and Paraguay.

As one result, progressive priests and laymen are being hounded in Brazil, the world's biggest nominally Catholic nation. Last week the Vatican issued an open warning to Brazil's military rulers. "We cannot remain deaf to the appeals...

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