Pope Francis will visit slum, not use popemobile in Rio
Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.
Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.

.- During next week's World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis will be staying in a modest residency, visiting a slum and traveling without his popemobile.

“It was thought that the Pope does not feel he is treated differently from others,” said Sister Irma Terezinha, who is in charge of the Center for Sumaré where he will be staying.

“He does not like individualism, everything is done the same way for everyone and nothing will be different for him,” she added in an interview with Correio do Brasil.

Second auxiliary Bishop of Rio de Janeiro, Roque Costa Souza, told the Brazilian daily that the room of Pope Francis will have the same things as the other seven rooms of the residence.

The items include a small wooden table, a wardrobe and a cooler similar to those in hotel rooms. The Center for Sumaré, a residency built in the 1950s, underwent restoration just a few months ago and the pontiff will be staying there alongside 37 other priests and cardinals.

Blessed John Paul II also slept in the same residency during his visits to the city.

On the Pope’s agenda will also be a visit to one of Rio's “favelas,” the slum of Varginha, and a visit to Saint Francis Hospital in Providence where Franciscans look after alcohol and drug addicts.

Before his visit to Varginha, which is home to around 2,000 people, Pope Francis will bless the Olympic flags and be given the keys to the city.

Vatican press office director, Father Federico Lombardi, said Pope Francis decided to not travel with the popemobile during the event, but will use instead the jeep that is used during general audiences at the Vatican. However, he will travel in a closed car during long journeys.

Fr. Lombardi revealed that the pontiff’s agenda is also a visit to Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, and Rio de Janeiro’s mayor and state governor.

The event’s opening Mass on Wedneday, July 24, will not include the Pope, although it was originally planned to celebrated by former pontiff Benedict XVI.

The Mass will instead be lead by the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Orani Tempesta, and the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko.

World Youth Day will host a large party for the youth taking part in the event during the night of July 25.

The Stations of the Cross will be led by Pope Francis on Friday, July 26, and he will share a meal with 12 young people – two from each continent – according to Fr. Lombardi.

On Saturday July 27 the pontiff will lead an evening vigil followed by Mass the next day, where he will announce the country host for the next World Youth Day.

Tags: World Youth Day, Pope Francis, World Youth Day - Rio 2013

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