Rio archbishop invites Pope to visit poor neighborhood

Brasilia, Brazil, Apr 8, 2013 / 12:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The archbishop of Rio de Janeiro proposed an agenda for Pope Francis' visit to Brazil this summer for World Youth Day which includes a trip to an impoverished neighborhood known as a “favela.”

Archbishop Orani Tempesta delivered his suggested itinerary to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, which is charged with overseeing the celebration of the global youth event.

The proposed agenda includes a visit to the Christ the Redeemer Shrine that overlooks Rio de Janeiro, a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Penha – which dates back to the 17th century – a meeting with the country's bishops, and a gathering with young people pursuing a vocation to religious life.

Archbishop Tempesta said that Pope Francis' attendance at the opening ceremonies, the Via Crucis or Way of the Cross, the vigil and closing Mass has been confirmed. He will also have lunch with a group of youths representing each of the world's continents.

Marcio Queiroz, director of communications for WYD 2013, said officials expect to receive a response from the Vatican in the coming weeks and that the final schedule could be released around the end of April.

“The suggestion was made that (Pope Francis) visit a favela in Rio, not any one in particular,” Queiroz explained.

“If he accepts, we will evaluate all of the necessary aspect such as security, accessibility and other important details.”

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