Click here to advertise on

Pope rests in Rio after tumultuous greeting

Catholic World News - July 23, 2013

Pope Francis spent July 23 resting quietly in Rio de Janeiro, restoring his energy after the long flight from Rome. Vatican officials did their best to relax, too, after worrisome scenes when the Pope first arrived in Brazil.

The Pope’s car was surrounded by excited crowded on several occasions as the papal motorcade made its painfully slow progress from the airport on Monday afternoon. Security officials were clearly worried, but “the Pope was happy” to greet the crowds, said the papal spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi.

The cheerful but unruly greeting left police and World Youth Day (WYD) organizers somewhat nervous about the prospects for the Pope’s stay in Brazil. In a country already uneasy due to political demonstrations, the wild show of enthusiasm for the Pope was welcome but still unsettling.

Pope Francis, however, appeared completely unruffled by the crowd scenes, and thoroughly at home on his native continent. Finally arriving at the presidential palace, the Pontiff made the first formal remarks of his stay:

I have learned that, to gain access to the Brazilian people, it is necessary to pass through its great heart; so let me knock gently at this door. I ask permission to come in and spend this week with you.

Speaking to Brazilian political leaders, the Pope reminded that “the principal reason for my visit to Brazil goes beyond its borders.” The centerpiece of his stay will be World Youth Day, he said. He added that he would challenge young Catholics: “Go beyond the confines of what is humanly possible and create a world of brothers and sisters!” While talking with young people at WYD, the Pope continued, he would also be reaching out to “their families, their local and national church communities, the societies they come from, and the men and women upon whom this new generation largely depends.”

On Wednesday, July 24, Pope Francis was scheduled to visit the shrine or Our Lady of Aparecida. Adding to the tension felt by his security detail, a small bomb was detected and defused at the shrine before the papal visit. (See today’s separate CWN headline story.)

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($22,618 to go):
$35,000.00 $12,382.44
65% 35%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

As Catholic News Unfolds... 9 hours ago
An Iraqi archbishop's warning to the West 9 hours ago
The cause for beatification of Archbishop Romero: BBC botched the story 15 hours ago
Church Fathers: The Didache and the Epistle of Barnabas 23 hours ago
It is time to revoke the Catholic status of the LCWR August 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8