Thousands of journalists swarm Copacabana beach for World Youth Day

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jul 22, 2013 / 03:24 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Around 6,000 journalists from around the globe are flocking to Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach this week to cover the Pope Francis’ first World Youth Day.

“It’s a very big challenge to give the right message about the Pope,” said Chloe Martial, a volunteer for World Youth Day’s media center.

“We’ve been giving a lot of accreditations and some people were missing because of the amount we had,” she told CNA July 22.

The 24-year-old is just one of around 50 volunteers working at the accreditation center to hand out journalists their press passes for this week's event.

The journalists represent 1,500 press and broadcast media from over 60 countries. Rio de Janeiro's archbishop, Orani João Tempesta, and the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, officially opened the international Media Centre July 22 in Copacabana, alongside five young people from different countries.

Archbishop Tempesta then went to the airport to receive Pope Francis. “He left Latin America and now returns as the first pilgrim of World Youth Day,” the archbishop said. “Christ the Redeemer welcomes him with open arms.”

“Pope Francis comes with the hope of all those who want to build a better world,” he added.

He admitted to social discontent in Brazil, but added that civilians believe young people’s “beauty, energy and hope from across the world will help to build a world of greater peace and justice.”

Mayor Paes affirmed that city authorities see this visit “as a great opportunity to better confront the challenges facing Rio.”

“This is a young, growing, diverse city which is looking to be better integrated,” Paes said.

“This visit and the dialogue that Pope Francis will have with the people of Rio will help us greatly in this aim,” he added.

The media volunteer, who came from Paris eight days ago, noted she thinks World Youth Day will change the city of Rio.

“There are also a lot of local, good, Catholic people who are willing to make this good,”

“They are really involved and there are so many police and security everywhere, too,” she added.

The volunteer said she came to Rio after hearing experiences from family and friends who had attended previous ones.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do before turning 25 and I’m almost there,” she said. “I think it’s something amazing, too, because people change when they go there so I really wanted to experience it myself, too.”

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