In most Latin American countries, including those with relatively progressive governments, huge wealth disparities are an obstacle to the pursuit of social justice and greater democracy.
These are countries of fabulous wealth, whose people live in grinding poverty, the pattern for most of sub-Saharan Africa.
In Pope Francis' document, he denounces the anti-human effects of the "idolatry"of the market and the radical wealth inequality resulting from it, but what is really new is making this issue the center of the Catholic Church's mission.
Francis I is blasting the "tyranny" of unfettered capitalism, economic inequity and financial finagling.
Madagascar today is one of the richest nations in the region, and one of the poorest. It has vast natural resources (gold, nickel, cobalt, petroleum), but 92 percent of its people live on $2.00 per day or less.