Rio de Janeiro

Pope Francis encourages favelas dwellers to fight corruption

'Never lose heart', pope tells crowd

Pope Francis encourages favelas dwellers to fight corruption

Rio de Janeiro, July 25 - On his visit to Rio de Janeiro's Varignha favelas on Thursday, Pope Francis implored the residents to "never lose heart" in spite of "corruption by people who, instead of seeking the common good, seek their own interest". The Argentine pontiff's one-week tour of Brazil for World Youth Day included a stop in one of the city's slum, part of the larger Manguinhos favela where he gave a homily and met with a family in their shack. "Do not lose hope. Reality can change, men can change...seek common good first," Pope Francis said. Pope Francis' arrival to Brazil on Monday was marred by clashes between police and protestors. Brazil has seen some of its most widespread demonstrations in more than 20 years over the past month, against a series of transport-fare increases, corruption, and concerns over the cost of major events such as the 2014 World Cup, the 2016 Olympic Games and June's Confederations Cup. Hacker group Anonymous and members from the Brazilian Atheist and Agnostic association Atea demonstration on Monday were protesting local and national government spending for World Youth Day and were not against the Argentine pontiff or the Catholic Church. Pope Francis encouraged the crowd to continue "efforts being made by Brazilian society to integrate all of its parts, even the most suffering, and needy, through the fight against hunger and poverty". He told the favela's residents to "promote common good through the protection of intangible assets: life, family, education, health and security".

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