Rio de Janeiro

Pope rests, gives thanks after chaotic Brazil arrival

Francis bears with 'small' security mistakes

Pope rests, gives thanks after chaotic Brazil arrival

Rio de Janeiro, July 23 - Pope Francis had a day of rest on Tuesday after he was welcomed by thousands in emotional and sometimes chaotic scenes following his arrival in Rio de Janeiro on Monday. The pope has travelled to Brazil in his first overseas visit since being elected head of the Catholic Church in March for a week-long visit for World Youth Day (WYD). The car taking Francis from the airport to a ceremony with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the state governor's palace got stuck in traffic after the driver apparently took a wrong turn and missed the lane that had been cleared for Francis. The vehicle was mobbed by big crowds trying to greet the pope and security officials had trouble keeping people back so Francis could continue his journey. 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". The pope, however, remained unperturbed, waving, shaking hands and embracing children, first from an open window of the car and then from a pope-mobile devoid of protective screens. "Thank you to all of you and to all the authorities for a magnificent welcome in Rio," the pope wrote on his @Pontifex Twitter feed. The arrival was marred by clashes between protestors and police after the ceremony at the governor's palace. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters, who are angry at alleged government corruption and the cost of the pope's visit. One policeman was badly burned by a Molotov cocktail in the clashes, while AFP reported that a Japanese photographer working for it had been injured after being hit in the head by a police baton. Six protestors have been detained. On Tuesday WYD festivities officially kicked off with activities and events. Francis will travel by helicopter Wednesday to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Conception of Aparecida, where he will celebrate Mass and then have lunch with the bishops of the province and seminarians in the Bon Jesus Seminary. He will then return to Rio in the evening and visit the St. Francis of Assisi of the Providence of God Hospital. On Thursday he will celebrate a private Mass at the president's Sumaré residence, receive the keys to the city and then bless the Olympic flags at the City Palace of Rio de Janeiro. The pope has also scheduled a visit to one of the city's favelas, where he will give a speech. Shortly after, he will take part in the World Youth Day welcoming ceremony on Copacabana beachfront. On Friday the pope will hear the confession of some youth participating in the WYD ahead of a Via Crucis procession along Copacabana beachfront later in the day. Francis will also meet some young prisoners in the Archbishopric of St. Joaquin. On Saturday Francis will celebrate Mass with the bishops and with priests and seminarians in Rio de Janeiro's St. Sebastian Cathedral. Later in the morning he will meet Brazil's leaders at the Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro then lunch with the cardinals of Brazil, the presidency of the national conference of bishops of Brazil and bishops from the region in the refectory of the Sumaré Study Centre. To close the day, Francis will hold a prayer vigil with the young people at Campus Fidei in Guaratiba. On Sundayhe will celebrate Mass for the 28th WYD at the Campus Fidei. A farewell ceremony will take place at the Galeao-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport before the his return to Rome's Fiumicino Airport, with his flight set to land in the Italian capital on Monday at around 11:30 local time.

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