Pope Francis made the first overseas trip of his papacy this week, heading to Brazil mainly to preside over the five-day celebration of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. While visiting a country rocked by protests that began last month, the first Latin American pontiff chastised the Brazilian government for not doing enough to help poor residents.
Pope scolds rich, demands social justice in visit to Brazil slum
Philip Pullella and Anthony Boadle Reuters
6:51 a.m. EDT, July 26, 2013
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Thursday issued the first social manifesto of his young pontificate, telling slum dwellers in Brazil that the world’s rich must do much more to wipe out vast inequalities between the haves and the have-nots.
The pope also urged Brazil’s youth, who have taken part in recent protests showing discontent with the status quo, to keep alive their “sensitivity towards injustice” and be a catalyst in the fight against corruption.
The first Latin American pope, who has rallied the Church on behalf of the poor and who lives more austerely than his predecessors, called for a “culture of solidarity” to replace the “selfishness and individualism” prevailing in modern society.
“No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world,” he told residents of Manguinhos, a sprawling shantytown, or favela, of ramshackle brick dwellings that until recently was overrun by violence and controlled by drug lords.