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October 5, 2022

Pope arrives in Brazil on first foreign trip

Pope Francis arrives in Brazil today on his first foreign trip since becoming leader of the Catholic Church five months ago. Francis who is an Argentine, has headed for Latin America for World Youth Day – a series of events expected to attract over a million people to Rio de Janeiro and nearby sites. More than one million young Catholics are expected to flock to Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the new pope, VOA news reports. His itinerary includes meetings with local and national leaders and events connected to Thursday’s celebration of World Youth Day.
The pontiff’s schedule also includes a meeting with young inmates at a Rio prison, and a visit to shantytowns largely cleared of drug traffickers earlier this year by police and the Brazilian army. He also will inaugurate a Rio hospital wing for the treatment of drug addicts, and will pray at a shrine to Our Lady of Aparecida — the patron saint of Brazil.
The former Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who became pope earlier this year, will be welcomed to the country by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. The papal visit originally was planned for Francis’ predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict. who resigned the papacy in February.
Vatican analysts – noting early speculation the new pope might cancel the trip because of Vatican scandals – are describing the visit as a way to direct attention to social justice issues that Francis is seeking to make the centerpiece of his papacy.

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