Pope Francis and Brazil's president Dilma Rouseff embrace during the opening ceremony of World Youth Day. (Google Images)
Pope Francis and Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff embrace during the opening ceremony of World Youth Day. (Google Images)

Ben Tavener of The Rio Times is reporting that Pope Francis traveled to Brazil for the 2013 World Youth Day (WYD). Tavener writes:

“…[Pope Francis] was greeted by tens of thousands of pilgrims in the center of Rio on Monday, July 22nd. Argentinian-born Pope Francis, who is the first Latin Pope, said God had wanted him to visit his ‘beloved’ Latin America first and that he knew he had to “knock gently” at the doorway to Brazilians’ ‘immense hearts.'”

Brazil is the first overseas destination of the Pope’s papacy. At the opening ceremony, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Pope Francis spoke about the importance of treating young people with respect.

Tavener reports:

“Rousseff said she saw Pope Francis as a ‘religious leader sensitive to anxieties for social justice,’ while Pope Francis drove home his belief that the young had to be encouraged, not isolated, and urged they be given ‘safety,’ ‘education’ and ‘last values.'”

This is an interesting comment because many young people have been protesting fare hikes in Brazil over the last several months. Will the Pope’s message to the youth be heard?

Read more at The Rio Times.

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