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Jul 23, 2013

Bikinis make way for rosaries on Brazil beach as youths await pope

Rio de Janeiro (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of young Catholics from around the world flocked to Rio’s famed Copacabana beach on Tuesday to kick off a youth festival that will feature several appearances by Pope Francis.

Bikinis and beach volleyball gave way to rosaries and prayers for world peace as youths settled on the urban shoreline for a night of religious events related to World Youth Day, a biennial gathering of young Catholics.

Jul 23, 2013

Huge crowds in Brazil welcome pope back to home continent

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.

Jul 22, 2013

Francis lands in Brazil for first trip abroad as pope

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Pope Francis touched down in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, starting his first foreign trip as pontiff and a weeklong series of events expected to attract more than a million people to a gathering of young faithful in Brazil, home to the world’s largest Roman Catholic population.

Welcomed by a committee of local dignitaries, including President Dilma Rousseff, Francis waved to onlookers before proceeding to a motorcade through Rio’s city center, where local Catholics, visiting pilgrims and the curious were gathered to receive him. The new pope was then scheduled to meet Rousseff and other officials at a government palace nearby.

Jul 22, 2013

Brazil readies for Francis on new pope’s first trip abroad

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – The faithful, the curious and government leaders prepared on Monday to welcome Pope Francis to the world’s biggest Roman Catholic country, as the pontiff travels to Brazil on his first trip abroad since assuming the papacy in March.

Francis is scheduled to land in Rio de Janeiro late Monday, having departed Rome earlier in the day for a week-long visit around World Youth Day, a massive gathering of young Catholics that is expected to attract more than 1 million people to the city and nearby sites.

Jul 22, 2013

Pope fears lost generation of young unemployed

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Monday the world risks losing a generation of young people to unemployment and called for a more inclusive culture, as he headed to Brazil on his first trip outside Italy.

Speaking to journalists on board his plane, Francis expressed concern about how many young people have no jobs and condemned a “disposable” culture which also hurt the elderly.

Jul 21, 2013

Arrested Vatican prelate acted as private banker, document says

ROME, July 21 (Reuters) – A senior Catholic prelate arrested
last month used his influence at the Vatican to provide private,
illegal financial services for rich friends, Italian
investigators say in a judicial document.

They say Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who is the target of two
Italian investigations and had accounts at the Vatican bank,
engaged in “totally private, illegal activity which was also
aimed at serving outsiders”.

Jul 19, 2013

Arrested prelate wanted to tell pope of suspect activity: document

ROME (Reuters) – An arrested Catholic prelate asked to meet Pope Francis to tell him of irregular activities in the Vatican’s financial administration before he was detained on suspicion of money smuggling, according to a judicial document and a legal source.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano has also written a letter to the pope from his jail cell and given documents to magistrates, a source with direct knowledge of the case said.

Jul 19, 2013

Pope brings in lay experts to help reform Vatican

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has brought in international experts to help him overhaul the Holy See and move on from a series of scandals under his predecessor Benedict XVI.

Urged on by the cardinals who elected him four months ago, Francis set up a commission on Friday to help him reform the Vatican’s administration and finances.

Jul 17, 2013

Pope to shun bullet-proof vehicles during Brazil trip

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis will not use bullet-proof popemobiles on his visit to Brazil next week to allow him more direct contact with crowds despite the security risks, the Vatican said on Wednesday.

The Argentine pope, who arrives in Brazil on Monday for his first trip outside Italy, will use the same open-top jeeps he has preferred to use during his general audiences in St. Peter’s Square to enable him to reach out and touch people.

Jul 5, 2013

Popes John Paul II, John XXIII to be made saints: Vatican

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope John Paul II, the globe-trotting pontiff who led the Catholic Church for nearly 27 years, and Pope John XXIII, who called the reforming Second Vatican Council, will be declared saints, the Vatican said on Friday.

The Vatican said Pope Francis had approved a second miracle attributed to John Paul, a Pole who was elected in 1978 as the first non-Italian pope in 450 years and died in 2005. His progression to sainthood is the fastest in modern times.