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Bomb found near site of anticipated Papal Mass

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 23rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pope Francis has arrived in Brazil to a rock star greeting. As he shuttled through the city in his vehicle, it was mobbed by the crowd who sought a glimpse of the Holy Father. Meanwhile, it was reported that the day before, police discovered and detonated a homemade device planted near a shrine the Pope plans to visit.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (Catholic Online) - An explosive device was discovered near an important Marian shrine where Pope Francis is due to visit later in the week. The device was discovered July 21, the day before Pope Francis' arrival. According to police, it was a homemade device, constructed with a small plastic cylinder and duct tape. A bomb squad detonated the miniature device without injuries.

Pope Francis was advised of the incident, but has not changed his itinerary. Indeed, the Holy Father said he wants to visit the shrine because of his personal devotion to the Virgin Mary. The shrine is the largest such in the world and Pope Francis is scheduled to celebrate Mass there.

Following his arrival, Pope Francis gave a speech in which he asked permission to spend the week with the world's youth. "I ask permission to come in and spend this week with you," Pope Francis said.

"I have neither silver nor gold," he said, "but I bring with me the most precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ!"

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The Holy Father made a number of public comments yesterday, including while he was en route to Brazil from Rome. Attended by reporters, Pope Francis, very briefly, discussed his concerns that the world is developing a "throwaway culture" that is both materialistic but disposable. He warned against regarding the elderly as disposable, saying they can offer "the wisdom of life, the wisdom of the past, the wisdom of our country and family."

He also said that the safety and education of the youth was vital, and that "lasting values" should be instilled in them.

His meeting with the reporters at the back of the plane lasted only five minutes. The Holy Father is already famous amongst reporters for declining interviews.

However, he then spent the next hour at the front of the plane, personally greeting each of the journalists onboard, an exceptional kindness that was not lost on anyone aboard.

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Already nearly a million people have jammed into Rio, each person hoping to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father. Crowds pressed in, almost to the point they were run over by his vehicle, and they were often kept at bay by the physical intervention of security forces. Later, the Pope traveled the streets of Rio in his white Mercedes jeep, with a bulletproof shield covering the front and top, but not the sides - a likely safety compromise.

Some of the youth sought papal attention to their plight, related to the previous month's worth of protests in the country. One group held high a banner that read, "Pope, look how we're treated!"

The Holy Father is resting today. Tomorrow he will begin circulating through the city, visiting the Marian shrine of Aparecida for Mass.

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