News / Americas

Pope Urges Youth to Embrace Traditional Values in Brazil

Priests take part in a mass held by Pope Francis in the Basilica of the Madonna of Aparecida, in Aparecida do Norte, Sao Paulo State, July 24, 2013.
Priests take part in a mass held by Pope Francis in the Basilica of the Madonna of Aparecida, in Aparecida do Norte, Sao Paulo State, July 24, 2013.
Reuters
Pope Francis, receiving another rapturous welcome in Brazil, on Wednesday urged young people to shun the “ephemeral idols” of money and pleasure, and cherish traditional values to help build a better world.

On the third day of his week-long visit for World Youth Day, a biennial Church gathering being celebrated in and around Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis landed by helicopter in Aparecida, 260 kilometers [161 miles] west of the coastal metropolis.

The city houses a shrine of the Virgin Mary that is venerated as the patroness of Brazil, home to the biggest Roman Catholic population in the world. It also is the site where Francis, then a cardinal in Argentina, cemented his place as a leader of the Church during a 2007 conference attended by Pope Benedict XVI.

The ongoing World Youth Day events, which are expected to attract more than 1 million people from around the world, are an effort by the Vatican to galvanize young Catholics at a time when rival denominations, secularism and distaste over sexual and financial scandals continue to lead some faithful to abandon the Church.

Security around the pope on Wednesday appeared much more organized than upon his Monday arrival in Rio, where adoring crowds at one point surrounded his car.

In Aparecida, where tens of thousands gathered for the pope's first public mass of the visit, Francis rode in a white popemobile with open sides and a transparent top. Security squads kept the vehicle safely within barriers behind which tens of thousands of ecstatic faithful cheered, sang and waved flags.

The pope's desire to remain simple and close to his flock has complicated security around his visit, especially after he used a modest Fiat hatchback for his ride into Rio from the airport.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Vatican and Brazilian officials held what he called “a routine meeting” to discuss how the trip was going and made one change - that Francis would ride in a closed car from Rio airport to a hospital when he returns from Aparecida on Wednesday afternoon.

At the indoor Mass in Aparecida, one of Latin America's most popular pilgrimage sites, Francis urged worshippers to embody the faith of their ancestors and trust in God.

“Let us never lose hope! Let us never allow it to die in our hearts!” the pope said in Portuguese.

'Money, success, power, pleasure'

In his sermon, the 76-year-old pope warned the youth of his continent to avoid the snares of modern life.

“It is true that nowadays, to some extent, everyone, including our young people, feels attracted by the many idols which take the place of God and appear to offer hope: money, success, power, pleasure,” he said.

“Often a growing sense of loneliness and emptiness in the hearts of many people leads them to seek satisfaction in these ephemeral idols,” he said, speaking from a modern marble pulpit.

The pope's message of humility and rejection of the luxurious trappings of the papacy have endeared him to many Catholics and his first trip abroad has proved to be another boom to his image.

Young people, he said in his Aparecida homily, should be “a powerful engine for the Church and for society” and be given the conditions allowing them to “work actively in building a better world.”

At the end of the Mass, as worshippers chanted, “Francisco, Francisco, Francisco,” he walked around the basilica and comforted sick people in wheelchairs. He hugged several people, apparently old friends.

Return to Aparecida

He later joked with the crowd outside, asking their permission to speak Spanish instead of “Brazilian” and led the crowd, as he held the statue of the Virgin, in a prayer.

More than 5,000 police and other security officials were on hand in Aparecida, where young pilgrims, many draped in the flags of Brazil, Argentina, and other countries, endured rain and unseasonably low temperatures to ensure spots for the service.

Still, most had to follow the mass from outside the massive, modern basilica.

“I got here with my family at 2 in the morning,” said Antonio Carlos da Silva, a drenched prison guard from Sao Paulo. “I am so happy to come and see the pope.”

Aparecida is the place where Francis, then known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, authored an influential statement during Benedict's visit that espoused many of the same values he has placed front and center during his five months as pope. The document called on the Church to return to the principles of humility and charity.

From Aparecida, Francis is scheduled to fly back to Rio and tour a drug treatment ward at a hospital run by Franciscan monks. Later in the week, he will visit a Rio slum, preside over services on Copacabana beach and over the weekend give mass at a pasture outside the city.

Francis is scheduled to leave Brazil on Sunday.

On Monday, police said they safely detonated a small, homemade explosive they found in the bathroom of a parking garage in Aparecida. It was unclear if the device, made with a plastic pipe wrapped in tape, was related to the pope's visit.

  • Pope Francis arrives to a farewell ceremony at the Rio de Janeiro airport, July 28, 2013.
  • People pack Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro for Pope Francis' final mass for World Youth Day, July 28, 2013.
  • Clergy attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on the Copacabana beachfront, in Rio de Janeiro, July 28, 2013.
  • A pilgrim wakes up after a night of vigil in Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, July 28, 2013.
  • Nuns and a priest take pictures as Pope Francis arrives at Sao Joaquim Palace in Rio de Janeiro, July 26, 2013. 
  • Thousands of young people gather at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Copacabana beachfront on July 25, 2013 for the welcoming of Pope Francis to World Youth Day ceremonies.
  • Pope Francis delivers a speech during a visit to the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, July 25, 2013.
  • People greet Pope Francis as he visits the Varginha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 25, 2013.
  • A crowd waits for the Pope  to arrive at the Varginha slum in Rio de Janeiro, July 25, 2013.
  • A patient kisses the hand of Pope Francis at the Hospital Sao Francisco in Rio de Janeiro, July 24, 2013.
  • Thousands of young pilgrims gather on Copacabana Beach for a World Youth Day Mass in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23, 2013.
  • Pope Francis greets the crowd of faithful from his popemobile in downtown Rio de Janeiro, July 22, 2013.
  • Youth from France, Venezuela and Canada who are in Brazil for World Youth Day events sing songs as they ride in a train that travels to Corcovado mountain where the statue Christ the Redeemer stands over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23, 2013.
  • Pope Francis kisses a baby while greeting the crowd of faithful from his popemobile in downtown Rio de Janeiro, July 22, 2013.
  • Pope Francis shakes hands with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff after receiving a painting of Rio de Janeiro during a welcoming ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, July 22, 2013.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

US Coast Guard Rescues 33 Cubans at Sea

Because the overloaded boat did not make landfall, those rescued will be returned to Cuba
More

Western Experts Increasingly Fear Lone Wolf Terror Attacks

Slaying and assault on Canada's parliament building was followed by a hatchet attack on two New York City policemen
More

Search Underway at New Site in Mexico Missing Students Case

This week marked one month since the students went missing after clashing with police in mysterious circumstances
More

Public Transport in Latin America, Asia Most Dangerous for Women

Thousands of women and gender experts were questioned to create the listing
More

Kerry Lays Wreath for Slain Canadian Soldier

World has been witness to Canada's strength in face of tragedy, he says
More

Crowds Gather for Funeral of Canadian Soldier Killed in Ottawa

Corporal Nathan Cirillo, 24, was shot dead in last week near Canada's parliament building in attack allegedly carried out by convert to Islam
More