Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jul 26, 2013 / 02:41 am
The Vatican's spokesman says Pope Francis will meet with eight local imprisoned youths on Friday morning, and that the Pope has also kept in touch with a separate group of young inmates that he knew when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires.
"While we were on the airplane he told me he had stayed in touch with young people he had visited in a prison in Argentina, phoning them every two weeks," Father Federico Lombardi stated at a July 25 press conference.
Pope Francis is very interested in the inmates, especially during this week's World Youth Day, and will meet with them in the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro's office.
The addition of a meeting with the youth detainees is not the first meeting that Pope Francis has inserted into his schedule.
On Thursday, for instance, he held a Mass with 300 seminarians from the region and then met with about 5,000 Argentinians at the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, while about 30,000 others gathered outside to catch a glimpse of him.
Fr. Lombardi admitted that the new Pope's pace has "stressed out" some of the Vatican's staff, but added, that is not a bad thing.
Meanwhile, he also announced that the weekend events for the international youth gathering will not be held at Guaratiba's Campus Fidei grounds, because the ongoing deluge of rain has made meeting there impossible.
Saturday's vigil and Sunday's morning Mass with Pope Francis will instead be held on Copacabana beach.
This means that the pilgrims will not walk 13 kilometers (8 miles) to Guaratiba as was originally planned.
"I don't think we're going to miss anything because we've already walked enough this week, which I think is a good thing," said Father Thomas Rosica, the English-language Vatican press office representative.
On July 26, Pope Francis will hear confessions and have lunch with 12 young people, two from each continent and two from Brazil.
The young people will share their experiences in the evening at a press conference with journalists.