Tags: Pope Francis | pope | brazil | youth | day | throw | away
Image: Pope Warns of 'Throw-Away' Culture, Youth Job Crisis

Pope Warns of 'Throw-Away' Culture, Youth Job Crisis

Monday, 22 Jul 2013 06:49 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Pope Francis arrived in Brazil on Monday on his first foreign trip as pontiff and was swarmed by well-wishers as he drove into Rio de Janeiro, where more than 1 million people are expected to gather to see the first Latin American to head the Roman Catholic Church.

In remarks to reporters before the plane landed, Francis said his goal for the trip is to make World Youth Day include a greater focus on the elderly in an effort to fight a "throw-away" culture that often neglects people at both ends of life.

Welcomed by a committee of local dignitaries, including President Dilma Rousseff, a smiling Francis waved to onlookers before proceeding by motorcade to Rio's city center at the start of a weeklong gathering of young faithful in Brazil, home to the world's largest Catholic population.

Editor's Note: What the Bible Says About Investing (Shocking)

Thousands of local Catholics, visiting pilgrims and curious Brazilians lined avenues to greet Francis, who rode in a closed car with his window open. The crush of well-wishers led to a lapse in security when crowds swarmed the car as it entered central Rio.

People surrounded the vehicle, a small silver Fiat, to take photos and touch the pontiff through his open window. Bodyguards moved in to push back the crowd, which at one point was so heavy that the car was forced to a halt.

The Pope's visit to the coastal metropolis, a return to his home continent by the former Argentine cardinal, is part of the biennial World Youth Day gathering.

Despite the novelty of a new Pope, the visit comes as secular interests, other faiths and distaste for the sexual and financial scandals that have roiled the Vatican in recent years cause many Catholics in Latin America and around the world to leave the Church.

The trip also comes amid growing economic and social dissatisfaction in Brazil, which is still home to more than 120 million Catholics. The unease in June led to the biggest mass protests here in two decades as more than 1 million people in hundreds of cities rallied against everything from rising prices to corruption to poor public services.

In the five months since he succeeded Benedict, Francis has pleased many with his simple style, rejection of luxuries and calls for the Church to advocate on behalf of the poor and causes of social justice. Aboard his plane on Monday, the Pope told reporters the world risks losing a generation of young people to unemployment and called for a more inclusive culture.

"The world crisis is not treating young people well," Francis, 76, said. "We are running the risk of having a generation that does not work. From work comes a person's dignity."

Brazilian officials hope that his message of solidarity with the poor and working classes will minimize the possibility of major protests during his visit.

Still, they have deployed more than 20,000 soldiers, police, and security officials for the visit. While some of the measures are routine security provided for any visiting head of state, they are compounded by the popular draw of the Pope, especially because Francis has said he plans to travel around the city in an open-top vehicle and occasionally mix with the throngs.

Some protests are already planned during the visit, mostly by feminists, gay rights groups and others who disagree with the Church's longstanding social doctrines. Brazil's recent protests, organized through social media by a disparate group of online activists, make other demonstrations likely, even if on a much smaller scale than in June.

So far, an adulatory atmosphere reigned.

Among those gathered to see the procession through central Rio, where Francis switched vehicles and rode in a large white open truck, people climbed trees, bus stops, and newspaper kiosks. Thousands of people looked down from balconies and windows in the skyscrapers above.

"I felt the call of God," said Mari Therese Reyes, 32, who saved money for six months in the Philippines to pay for her trip. "It's not just to see the Pope, it is an encounter with Christ."

"I love the Pope very much," said Markus Hemmert, a 38-year-old German pilgrim who took three months to cycle to Brazil from Chicago.

Over the weekend, thousands of young pilgrims, many from neighboring countries and some from as far away as China, flocked to Rio's sunny seaside during the weekend and endured long lines to visit the city's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf mountain, a giant granite monolith.

After his reception Monday afternoon, Francis is scheduled later in the week to visit a nearby shrine, call on the residents of a Rio shantytown, lead a giant service on Rio's Copacabana beach and hold Mass at a big rally in a pasture outside the city.

Rousseff, a leftist whose Workers' Party has been in power since 2003, will say in her welcome speech on Monday that Brazil shares the Pope's concern for the poor, according to a presidential aide. She will also point to the advances against poverty made by her administration and that of her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Editor's Note: What the Bible Says About Investing (Shocking)

In private, Rousseff will propose that Brazil and the Vatican join forces in international cooperation programs to fight poverty and social exclusion in Africa, the official said. She is expected to discuss the protests with Francis if the pontiff raises the issue.

Rousseff's approval ratings were among the highest of any elected leader worldwide before the protests, but have plummeted since.

 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's New Book Skewers White House Boys Club

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 11:26 AM

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's new book skewers the boys club who basically ran the nation's fiscal policy in the . . .

Obamacare Falls Short in Enrollees Age 18-35 With a Low 28%

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 10:32 AM

The Obama administration has announced that the number of people age 18-35 enrolled in Obamacare is 28 percent — a figur . . .

North: 'Unconscionable' for NYT to Link Veterans to Klan

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 09:32 AM

It was "unconscionable" for The New York Times to publish an op-ed piece linking U.S. veterans to the Ku Klux Klan, basi . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved