Rio de Janeiro

Pope bears with 'small' security mistakes upon Rio arrival

But Francis enjoying Brazilian friendliness

Pope bears with 'small' security mistakes upon Rio arrival

Rio de Janeiro, July 23 – A "small" security error was made when Pope Francis arrived in Brazil and his motorcade became stuck in traffic, a Vatican spokesman said Tuesday. The car taking Francis from the airport Monday to a ceremony with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff became stuck in traffic after the driver apparently took a wrong turn and missed the lane that had been cleared for the pontiff. The vehicle was mobbed by big crowds trying to greet the Latin American pope and security officials had trouble keeping people back so Francis could continue his journey. Francis, on a week-long visit to Brazil for World Youth Day (WYD), is on his first overseas trip since being elected pontiff in March. Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the pope was not troubled by the crowds but security staff were concerned. "The pope knows that the Brazilians are very friendly, knows that the Latin Americans...are amiable and Brazilians in particular," Lombardi told Vatican Radio. "(T)here was also a small error along the way, so there was some difficulty...to continue along the route," he added. "This is a moment that sparked a little surprise or concern to some, but which in fact is a thing that you can (expect) when there is a large city, with an extraordinary reception, with a great interest in the people and a pope like this". Although the pope was unperturbed, the day was marked with violent clashes between protesters and police. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters, who are angry at alleged government corruption and the cost of the pope's visit. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the pope had no scheduled appointments, but Lombardi said that did not mean a peaceful day. "The pope is always able to create something...So I cannot absolutely ensure that it is a day of quiet". The rest of the week is expected to be hectic with World Youth Day events.

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