Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Pope all smiles as Brazilians swarm his car

A member of security holds up a baby to Pope Francis on Monday as the pontiff rides his popemobile into central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  AP photo

In this photo released by Prefeitura do Rio, a member of security holds up a baby to Pope Francis as he rides in his popemobile into central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. The pontiff arrived for a seven-day visit in Brazil, the world's most populous Roman Catholic nation. At right is the Rio Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta. (AP Photo/Raphael Lima, Prefeitura do Rio)

By
From page A2 | July 23, 2013 |

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Pope Francis wants to ignite the passion of Roman Catholics for their faith while on his first international trip, and the boisterous, sometimes frenzied welcome he got on his first day in Rio seemed to fill those hopes.

Returning to his home continent for the first time since becoming pontiff, Francis smiled broadly as thousands of people rushed his car Monday after it became stuck behind buses and taxis when his driver made a wrong turn on a main avenue in Rio’s center.

It was a nightmarish scene for security officials, but clearly a delight and another opportunity to connect for this pope, who was scheduled to take a day off Tuesday for rest and private meetings.

The ecstatic throngs forced his motorcade to repeatedly come to a standstill, weeks after violent protests against the government paralyzed parts of Brazil. Francis’ driver turned into the wrong side of a boulevard at one point, missing lanes that had been cleared. Other parts of the pope’s route to the city center weren’t lined with fencing, giving the throngs more chances to get close, with uniformed police nowhere in sight to act as crowd control.

The three dozen visible Vatican and Brazilian plainclothes security officials struggled to keep the crowds at bay. Francis not only looked calm but got even closer to the people. He rolled down his back-seat window, waved to the crowd and touched those who reached inside. He kissed a baby a woman handed to him.

“His secretary was afraid, but the pope was happy,” said the papal spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

The pope is here on a seven-day visit meant to fan the fervor of the faithful around the globe. That task has grown more challenging as Catholics stray, even in strongholds of the religion such as Brazil, yet it seemed to come easily to Francis even on the drive from the airport to an official opening ceremony.

After finally making it past crowds and blocked traffic, Francis switched to an open-air vehicle for a cruise along main streets past crowds of people who screamed wildly as he waved and smiled. He left his popemobile — the bulletproof one — in the Vatican garage so he could better connect with people during the church’s World Youth Day.

Vatican officials insisted they had no concern for the pope’s safety as his vehicles eased through the masses, but Lombardi acknowledged there might have been some “errors” that need correcting.

“This is something new, maybe also a lesson for the coming days,” Lombardi said.

Many in the crowd looked stunned to see the pope, with some standing still and others sobbing loudly.

“I can’t travel to Rome, but he came here to make my country better … and to deepen our faith,” Idaclea Rangel, a 73-year-old Catholic, said, choking through her tears after the pope passed by.

As many as 1 million young people from around the world are expected in Rio for the Catholic youth fest, a seemingly tailor-made event for the Argentine-born pope, who has proven enormously popular in his four months on the job. But the fervor of the crowds that regularly greet Francis in St. Peter’s Square was nothing compared with the raucous welcome in Rio.

Popes generally get a warm welcome in Latin America; even the more aloof Pope Benedict XVI received a hero’s welcome when he visited Mexico and Cuba in 2012. John Paul II frequently received rock star treatment, and during one 1996 visit to Venezuela, his motorcade was similarly mobbed when he stopped to greet well-wishers.

Outside Rio’s Guanabara government palace where the pope was officially welcomed, Alicia Velazquez, a 55-year-old arts teacher from Buenos Aires, waited to catch a glimpse of the man she knew well when he was archbishop of her hometown.

“It was so amazing when he was selected, we just couldn’t believe it. We cried and hugged one another,” Velazquez said. “I personally want to see if he’s still the same man as simple and humble whom we all knew. I have faith that he’s remained the same.”

Francis displayed that humility in greeting President Dilma Rousseff, saying he understood that to really know Brazilians, one must pass through their heart.

“So let me knock gently at this door,” Francis said in Portuguese at the official welcoming ceremony. “I have neither silver nor gold, but I bring with me the most precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ.”

On the plane trip to Rio, Francis had lamented that an entire generation of young people risked not knowing what it’s like to work thanks to an economic crisis that has seen youth unemployment skyrocket in many European countries while leaving the poor of the developing world behind.

“People get their dignity from work, they earn their bread,” he told reporters aboard the plane. “Young people in this moment are in crisis.”

Francis arrived at a tense time for Brazil, as the country reels from sometimes violent demonstrations that began last month as a protest against public transport price hikes and mushroomed into a wave of protests against government corruption, inefficiency and spending for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Those protests continued after Francis’ arrival. Police and anti-government protesters clashed outside the government palace.

The government has spent about $52 million for Francis’ visit, but he does not appear to be a focus of protesters’ rage.

“We’ve got nothing against the pope. Nobody here is against him,” said Christopher Creindel, a 22-year-old art student and Rio native protesting outside the government palace. “This protest is against our politicians.”

Lombardi confirmed that a homemade explosive device was found Sunday by Brazilian authorities in a public toilet near the basilica at Aparecida, a Marian shrine that Francis is to visit Wednesday. Vatican security was informed of the device but didn’t think it was aimed at the pope, Lombardi said.

“There are no concerns for security. The concerns are that the enthusiasm is so great that it’s difficult to respond to so much enthusiasm for the pope. But there is no fear and no concern,” he told reporters.

Francis’ weeklong schedule underscores his commitment to make his pontificate focus on the poor. He will walk through one of Rio’s shantytowns, or favelas, and meet with juvenile offenders, an extension of his call for a more missionary church that goes to the peripheries to preach.

He will also pray at Aparecida, an indication of his strong Marian devotion that is shared in much of Latin America. And, in a rather incongruous matchup, he will preside over a procession re-enacting Christ’s crucifixion on the beach at Copacabana, ground zero of Rio’s Sin City.

Alex Augusto, a 22-year-old seminarian dressed in the bright green official T-shirt for pilgrims, said Monday that he and five friends made the journey from Brazil’s Sao Paulo state to “show that contrary to popular belief, the church isn’t only made up of older people, it’s full of young people. We want to show the real image of the church.”

————

By Bradley Brooks and Nicole Winfield. Associated Press writers Jenny Barchfield, Vivian Sequera and Marco Sibaja contributed to this report. Follow Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfield

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Davis team wins world robotics championship

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
 
Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Suspect in UCD assault arrested

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Watch them in action

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

We did it (together)!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

 
$2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Those texts still linger

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

 
New ways of giving locally and beyond

By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

 
Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Water, water everywhere?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

By Our View | From Page: A12

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

Poker proceeds help youths

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Invest in water of the future

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Anaheim, where The Force is with you

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

.

Sports

Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

Davis Roots hires new general manager

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Comcast announces speed upgrade

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

Whitney Joy Engler

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Valente Forrest Dolcini

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8