Rio De Janeiro

Francis invigorates Church on first foreign trip

Tells youths to 'rebel' by taking marriage vows

Francis invigorates Church on first foreign trip

(By Emily Backus) Rio De Janeiro, July 29 - Pope Francis said he already felt "saudade" (nostalgia) in his concluding speech to Brazilian authorities at the Rio De Janeiro airport, and expressed hope for the youth of Brazil and the world for their role in a "new spring" that "Christ is preparing". Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrapped up his week in Brazil - his first overseas trip as pontiff - where he attracted massive crowds and celebrated the Catholic Church's 28th World Youth Day, before boarding a flight for Rome. An estimated three million people turned out to Rio's Copacabana beach Sunday for the final Mass of the historic trip to his home continent. Earlier in the week poor weather forced the pope to fly by plane rather than helicopter, as planned, to the national shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida. There 5,000 security forces prepared for his visit and hundreds of thousands gathered for Mass. The pope ignored the downpour, shunning an umbrella as he toured the Varginha slum in Rio de Janeiro's northern zone, surrounded by hundreds of residents who celebrated his visit on Thursday. Also on Thursday, Francis promised Brazilian youths gathered for World Youth Day that by putting faith first "Life will have a new flavour. It will have a compass that indicates the way". The pope invited young people to embrace hope, love and Christ, rather than "money, power and possession" which he vowed brought only a momentary illusion of happiness. "In the end it is these things that come to possess us and push us to always want more, to never be sated," he warned. On Friday, Brazilian television goliath Globo put off an episode of a highly popular TV series to broadcast the pope's Stages of the Cross live, while hundreds of thousands of people camped overnight along the four-km beach to attend the pope's mass Sunday morning. On Saturday, the pope told a group of Brazilian business and civic leaders that "leadership" is knowing how to choose for the "common good" and that decision makers are facing an ethical "challenge without precedent". "He who acts responsibly lays his actions before the rights of others and God's judgement," said Pope Francis at Rio's municipal theatre on Saturday. In a final salute on Sunday, the pope thanked a crowd of 14,000 volunteers who worked on his visit, and told them what he thought of the "fashion" of not getting married, of "enjoying" life and remaining uncommitted. The pope invited the crowd to "be revolutionaries, to go against the grain, to rebel" by committing to a lifelong spouse.

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