Huge crowds in Brazil welcome pope back to home continent

RIO DE JANEIRO Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:38pm EDT

1 of 10. Pope Francis kisses a baby while greeting the crowd of faithful from his popemobile in downtown Rio de Janeiro, July 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - 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 one million people are expected to gather to see the first Latin American to head the Roman Catholic Church.

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 week-long gathering of young faithful in Brazil, home to the world's largest Catholic population.

Thousands of local Catholics, visiting pilgrims and curious Brazilians lined avenues to greet Francis, who rode at first 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 Atlantic coastal metropolis is part of the biennial World Youth Day gathering. "God wished that the first international trip of my pontificate should take me back to my beloved Latin America," said Francis, an Argentine, in a speech shortly after arriving.

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 caused 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, home to more than 120 million Catholics. The unease in June led to the biggest mass protests in the country 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 his speech, Francis alluded to the recent protests.

"I ask everyone to show consideration towards each other and, if possible, the sympathy needed to establish friendly dialogue," he said.

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 social justice. Aboard his plane early 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. 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 decided to travel around the city in an open-top vehicle at times and occasionally mix with the throngs.

On Monday, police in Sao Paulo, a neighboring state where Francis will visit a Catholic shrine, said they safely detonated a small, homemade explosive they found in a nearby parking garage. It was unclear if the device, made with a plastic pipe wrapped in tape, was related to the pope's visit.

Small, scattered street protests unfolded in Rio Monday evening and further demonstrations are planned during the visit, mostly by feminists, gay rights groups and others who disagree with the Church's long-standing 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, of the Philippines who saved money for six months for her trip. "It's not just to see the pope. It is an encounter with Christ."

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

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, Francis is scheduled later in the week to visit the Sao Paulo 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, said Brazil shared the pope's concern for social justice, pointing to advances against poverty made by her administration and that of her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

"We fight against a common enemy: inequality," she said.

Rousseff criticized economic policies in some countries that, in the name of austerity, end up hurting those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

"Strategies to overcome economic crisis that focus only on austerity and ignore the enormous social cost involved mostly hit the poor and the young, who are the main victims of unemployment," Rousseff said, echoing the pope's message earlier on Monday.

Rousseff also highlighted the role of young people in the recent protests. She is expected to discuss the protests with Francis if the pontiff raises the issue, a presidential aide said.

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

(Additional reporting by Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Editing by Todd Benson, Claudia Parsons and Philip Barbara)

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Comments (3)
Mylena wrote:
We, all argentinians that live in foreing countries, expect that father Francisco accomphises hir word, about not to go to our country, ARGENTINA, until the elections were done. I took your word padre Bergoglio!!!!!!

Jul 22, 2013 6:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Mylena wrote:
We, all argentinians that live in foreing countries, expect that father Francisco accomphises hir word, about not to go to our country, ARGENTINA, until the elections were done. I took your word padre Bergoglio!!!!!!

Jul 22, 2013 6:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DeanMJackson wrote:
Did you catch this last week?

“The Vatican’s “gay lobby” was back in the headlines on Friday after the alleged exposure of a homosexual prelate appointed by Pope Francis to a key position at the Vatican bank.” — France24

How about that for change?

In fact, last April Pope Francis told Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who heads up the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), to take “decisive action regarding cases of sexual abuse”. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, a Marxist-oriented liberation theologist, was appointed head of the CDF last July (2012) by Pope Benedict to plug the damaging leaks from the Vatican. Also, inexplicably, this was the man that the supposedly “conservative” Pope Benedict knew he could trust 100% to prevent any more embarrassing leaks from the Vatican…a Marxist-oriented, liberation theology enthusiast! Does this make sense to you?

As I’ve been saying now for several months after noticing zero changes at the Vatican, the “election” of Francis to replace pedophile enabler Pope Benedict was directed by Moscow (and allies). Moscow decided it was now time a new, fresh face was needed at the Vatican, since the pedophile-enabler Pope Benedict had completed his mission in weakening the Universal Church.

You see (and this should have hit me sooner), Believers would never initiate a policy (beginning some fifty years ago) of passing pedophile priests onto other unsuspecting parishes where they would assault more Catholic children, but Communists would implement such a policy to weaken the Church.

Those of you not familiar with the true events taking place within the “former” USSR these past 21 years, will naturally ask, “Wouldn’t the Moscow network within the Vatican have fallen apart as soon as the collapse of the USSR took place in late 1991?”

For the answer to that question, first Google: “Bulgaria protestant communist agents”

and then

Google: “Bulgaria orthodox communist agents”

Bulgaria is the only nation to have created (belatedly) a Files Commission looking into Communist-era agents still in power there. Guess what they found? Communist-era agents still in control of the government, media, Churches and other institutions (and the Files Commission is only chartered to investigate from 2003 onwards).

If Files Commissions had been created in all not-so-former East Bloc nations/USSR republics, then we’d get the same results as Bulgaria: That Communist agents are still in control there too.

In fact, the KGB agent Quislings that controlled the Russian Orthodox Church before the “collapse” of the USSR are to this day still in control! They were never identified and thrown out of that institution after the “collapse” of the USSR! The same is true for the other 14 republics of the USSR, including East Bloc nations. You didn’t know this, huh?

We also have the case where several hours after Alois Estermann is made head of the Vatican Swiss Gurad by John Paul II in 1998, Estermann is found dead. Soon after, the European press outed Alois Estermann as a KGB agent, working for Moscow since 1979.

Another Swiss guard, Cédric Tornay, was also found dead in Estermann’s apartment, and the Vatican put a spin on the murders saying that Tornay killed Estermann due to a grudge. The Vatican then lied to Tornay’ mother, telling her “…his body was rotting, that his head had been ripped off, and that all the hotels in Rome were full so she should not come to Rome. She did, of course, and when she reached Rome she discovered that none of the claims made by the Vatican about the state of her son’s body was true. Muguette Baudat wrote twice to the pope, questioning the Vatican’s version of Tornay’s death, but did not receive a reply.

When Tornay’s body was flown back to Switzerland, before the funeral Baudat literally stole the body from a Swiss morgue to have a second autopsy performed by Dr Thomas Krompecher, professor of forensic medicine at the University of Lausanne. Based on his conclusions, Baudat retained the services of two high-profile lawyers, Luc Brossollet and Jacques Vergès.

The lawyers, authors of Murdered in the Vatican (Assassinati in Vaticano, Kaos, 2002), claim that the second autopsy contradicts the Vatican’s conclusions on several key points. Tornay’s service pistol used 9-mm bullets, but the exit wound in his skull measured seven millimetres. Tornay apparently suffered a fracture of a cranial bone which was not on the bullet’s trajectory. His lungs contained a large amount of blood and saliva which could not have been caused by suicide, but could have been caused by internal bleeding due to blows to the head before he died. The forensic report also notes that Tornay’s front teeth were broken off, as if a gun had been forced into his mouth.

Finally, graphologists and psychologists who examined Tornay’s final letter to his mother conclude that it is a forgery—also an allegation of Tornay’s mother. Why? First, the letter is dated “4.05.98″, but Tornay always wrote the month in full and never used a zero to delineate the first nine months of the year. He refers to Estermann as “Lieutenant Colonel”, whereas he knew that Estermann was now a colonel. More importantly, he called his sister “Melinda”, whereas he always referred to her as “Dada”. He refers to the “Pope”, rather than his usual reference of the “Holy Father”. The suicide letter states, “Tell Melinda, Sarah and Papa that I love you all”—but Tornay was also very fond of his step-brothers Yvan and Joel, and all his friends and family members believe that he would have mentioned them in a suicide note…if he had written one. His mother claims that the non-inclusion of his step-brothers is because the forger used only the Vatican’s official files to create this letter and hence was unaware of their existence. Equally, the letter is addressed to “Mme Chamorel”, but Tornay always used his mother’s maiden name, Baudat—not the surname of her second husband. The Vatican registers list Tornay’s mother’s surname as “Chamorel”. With such evidence, it should not come as a total surprise that the handwriting experts engaged by Baudat confirm that her son did not write this letter.”

Conclusion: Several hours after John Paul II knowingly appoints a KGB agent to head the Swiss Guard, the Swiss Guard assassinates Estermann and his wife. In order to provide a rationale for the murders, Moscow orders the Vatican to murder Tornay and place his body in Estermann’s apartment.

Now you also know why Western political parties refused to verify the “collapse” of the USSR and East Bloc (and will also fail to verify the upcoming “collapse” of the Chinese Communist government). Western political parties were co-opted by Moscow decades ago, otherwise the “collapse” of the USSR would have been verified, since such verification would be (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western ground forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West.
Iraq War I & II Explained:

Before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR in December 1991 Moscow tasked Washington, DC to ready the 1990 Gulf War with Iraq. Why? Because Moscow, after the “collapse”, was going to intentionally implode its economy to ensure foreign investments went to China instead. Russia could live on the higher price that its oil exports (Russia is #2 behind Saudi Arabia in oil exports) would obtain thanks to the United States placing an embargo on Iraqi oil, thereby raising the world price of oil. China has no such export market for oil, therefore would have to rely on foreign investments to build her military.

Then by 2001 oil supplies began to shrink due to India’s emergence on the economic scene, threatening China’s military buildup. To ensure China had the oil it needed, and not exhaust Russian oil reserves, Moscow once again tasked Washington, DC to invade Iraq for the purpose of now opening up Iraq’s oil reserves once again to the world oil market. Hence the March 2003 Iraqi War, and why China is the major player that has benefited from Iraqi oil contracts.

Regarding the “War on Terror”, Moscow and Beijing tasked the American operation to ensure that while the USSR was in a “liberalized” and therefore weakened state, such a war would (1) create enmity between Islam and the West; thereby (2) aborting any possibility for an alliance between Islam and the West against their mutual and true enemy…World Communism; and (3) create the image that the United States is a rogue state, invading/attacking nations with impunity, thereby setting the stage for a future “democratic” China replacing United States preeminence on the world stage.

By the way, four months after the Ford administration took power in August 1974 the one man in the CIA leading the fight against the “Long-Range Policy” (the “new” strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 to defeat the West with) was forced out of the agency, CIA Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton. With Angleton gone, KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn became persona non grata at the agency too. Guess who President Ford’s first White House Chief of Staff was who oversaw the firing of Angleton? Donald Rumsfeld! Guess who Rumsfeld’s assistant was? Dick Cheney! The same two KGB moles that gave us the “War on Terror”, the purpose for the war being to (1) create enmity between Islam and the West; because (2) when the USSR “liberalized” it would be in a weakened condition vis-à-vis the West, and the last thing Moscow (and Beijing) needed was an alliance between Islam and the West against their mutual and natural enemy…Communism; and (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via a never ending war.

Jul 22, 2013 9:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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