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WYD: What the papers say



July, 25, 2013: Our correspondent in Rio de Janeiro, Seàn Patrick Lovett takes a look at how the Brazilian press is following the Pope's visit for World Youth Day.

In an off-the-cuff remark at Aparecida on Wednesday, the Archbishop of the city, Cardinal Damasceno Assis, reminded Pope Francis that four years from now Brazil celebrates the 300th anniversary of the rediscovery of the statue of Our Lady that gives the shrine its name. The Pope responded with a cheery “See you in 2017”! Needless to say, stories reporting a hoped-for return of Pope Francis on that date abound in all of the nation’s daily newspapers. An interesting aside is that 2017 also marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima. So it could turn out to a busy year for the Pope – between one Marian Shrine and another…

The local Rio daily, O Globo, gives ample space to the Pope’s visit to the Hospital of St Francis and to his condemnation of drug traffickers as “merchants of death”. Further articles and pictures of the event abound inside the paper, including a particularly touching photograph of the Pope embracing one of the former patients, beneath the title, “The Pope against drugs”. The rain is another topic that dominates the dailies (“Devotion underwater”) with pictures of the flooded Mass site at Guaratiba. The other top story, of course, regards the tragic train crash at Santiago de Compostela, including the fact that the Holy Father prayed privately for the victims and their families.

The mass circulation daily of Sao Paulo, O Estado de S.Paulo, gives space to both the hospital visit and to Aparecida (“Pope criticizes ephemeral idols”), and notes how the Rio metro will be open 24 hours over the next few days. Another article comments positively on the presence of the young people in the city, describing them as “quiet and respectful…they don’t go out at night…all they do is sing and pray”. The paper also looks ahead to the Pope’s much-awaited visit to the favela of Varginha and to the enthusiasm and anticipation of the people there.

Finally, the day’s baby-story comes from San Salvador de Bahia: it’s about the local police finding a new-born baby inside a shoe box in the street. They’ve given him the name Francis – in honour of the Pope, of course.




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