Monday, 29 July 2013

Slum pope joins Catholic jamboree on famous beach of Copacabana

Up to three million people descended on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro to hear an address by Pope Francis.
From all over the world Catholic youngsters found their way to Brasil to meat other Catholic believers. they also did not want to miss the head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis I.
English: Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Bra...
 Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The whole happening you could have called a Christian Carnival.
The 76-year-old Argentine seemed entirely at home, wading into cheering crowds, kissing people young and old and telling them the Catholic Church is on their side.
Called the “slum pope” for his work with the poor, Francis received a rapturous welcome in the Varginha shantytown, part of a slum area of northern Rio so violent it’s known as the Gaza Strip.
The Varginha visit was one of the highlights of Francis’ weeklong trip to Brazil, his first as pope and one seemingly tailor-made for the first pontiff from the Americas.
Further surprise came though during his encounter with Argentine pilgrims, scheduled at the last minute in yet another sign of how this spontaneous pope is shaking up the Vatican’s staid and often stuffy protocol.
From the slum, Francis traveled to Rio's modern cathedral, where he received a roaring welcome from tens of thousands of young Argentines who were in Rio for the Catholic jamboree.
The Pope showed his awareness of the bad circumstances those people have to live in:
“No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world!” Francis told the crowd of thousands who braved a cold rain and stood in a muddy soccer field to welcome him.“No amount of peace-building will be able to last, nor will harmony and happiness be attained in a society that ignores, pushes to the margins or excludes a part of it”.
The pope made an appeal to those in possession of greater resources:
"to public authorities and to all people of good will who are working for social justice: never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity!” he said.
He insisted more needed to be done to bridge the gap between rich and poor at the root of social injustice, in what seemed a clear reference to the Brazilian situation, and the forcible ‘pacification’ of a few of the favela slums.
The previous popes may have had difficulties with the priests and bishops who had problems with the rich church and the poor population. this pope also wants the church getting closer to the people. It would even be nice if the Catholic church could get rid of clericalism and  the mundane uttered Pope Francis.
He compared the purity of the Catholic faith with the blended fruit drinks popular in Brazil:
 “Please, don’t blend faith in Jesus. There are apple shakes, orange shakes, banana shakes, but, please, don’t drink a ‘licuado de fe (faith shake)!’ Faith is complete!”
Francis urged the 3 million young Catholics present on the world famous beach of Copacabana, to go out and spread their faith
 “to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent.”“The church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity and the joy that is so characteristic of you!” he said to applause in his final homily of World Youth Day.
It is incredible that so many youngsters can be brought to travel such far distances to come and see the pope and to spend some days with each other.This year it where two million ore than the last World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011 or the 850,000 at Toronto’s 2002 concluding Mass.
Only Pope John Paul II’s Mass during his 1995 visit to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, topped Rio’s numbers, with an estimated 5 million people taking part. Third place among papal Masses now goes to Rome World Youth Day in the 2000 Jubilee year, when 2 million people participated. A similar number attended John Paul’s final Mass in Krakow, his Polish hometown, in 1979, during his first visit to his homeland as pope.
Saturday night's vigil capped a busy day for the pope in which he drove home a message he has emphasised throughout the week in speeches, homilies and off-the-cuff remarks: the need for Catholics – lay and religious – to shake up the status quo, get out of their stuffy sacristies and reach the faithful on the margins of society or risk losing them to rival churches.
In the longest and most important speech yet of his four-month pontificate, Francis took a direct swipe at the "intellectual" message of the church that so characterised the pontificate of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. Speaking to Brazil's bishops, he said ordinary Catholics did not understand such lofty ideas and needed to hear the simpler message of love, forgiveness and mercy that was at the core of the Catholic faith.
"At times we lose people because they don't understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people," he said. "Without the grammar of simplicity, the church loses the very conditions which make it possible to fish for God in the deep waters of his mystery."
"You are often disappointed by facts that speak of corruption on the part of people who put their own interests before the common good," Francis told the crowd. "To you and all, I repeat: Never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished." 
In a speech outlining the kind of church he wants, Francis asked bishops to reflect on why hundreds of thousands of Catholics had left the church for Protestant and Pentecostal congregations that have grown exponentially in recent decades in Brazil, particularly in its slums.

Nuns joined the beachfront vigil led by Pope Francis for the 28th World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, with many of the three million-strong crowd staying put for mass
Nuns joined the beachfront vigil led by Pope Francis for the 28th World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, with many of the three million-strong crowd staying put for mass

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Once in a lifetime: Nuns mixed with bikini-clad young women as nearly the entire 2.5-mile crescent of Copacabana¿s broad beach in Rio overflowed with people
Once in a lifetime: Nuns mixed with bikini-clad young women as nearly the entire 2.5-mile crescent of Copacabana's broad beach in Rio overflowed with people

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