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July 23rd, 2013
12:47 PM ET

A nightmare day for the pope's security detail

By Eric Marrapodi and Miguel Marquez, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief'] [twitter-follow screen_name='miguelmarquez']

Copacabana Beach, Brazil (CNN) - Don't blame the pope's Swiss Guards if they had nightmares Monday night. There was plenty to disturb their sleep: a mobbed motorcade, a bomb scare and protesters clashing with police.

When Pope Francis arrived here Monday for World Youth Day, a weeklong Catholic event held every few years, the massive security effort was temporarily undermined by a traffic jam.

As the papal motorcade was driving from the airport to the presidential palace, federal officials steered the motorcade into the busiest of several potential routes. As the motorcade slowed, papal admirers swarmed the silver Fiat hatchback carrying Pope Francis, reaching into his open window to touch the pontiff.

A Vatican spokesman said the pope wasn't afraid - but his secretary was.

“The Pope’s secretary told me that when the car was stopped, he was scared at times, but the pope was very happy and waving,” said the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

Brazilian officials blamed the mob scene on miscommunication between the city of Rio de Janiero and federal police. Lombardi simply said the motorcade had taken a wrong turn.

Still, the pope’s security team was confident enough during the stoppage that Domenico Giani, the Vatican's chief of papal security, opened the pope’s door and handed him a child to bless.

Once Francis transitioned into the open-topped Popemobile, he moved easily through the tens of thousands who filled the streets of Rio to catch a glimpse of the new pontiff - the first pope to hail from Latin America.

The pope’s regular contingent of Vatican security, including the Vatican police and the Swiss Guard, moved with the pope in the streets, occasionally bringing infants over the barricades to meet the pontiff.

There was a different scene shortly after Francis met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the Guanabara Palace. Protesters - who had promised to be out in force during the papal visit - clashed with police in riot gear.

Police said the protesters hurled rocks at them and they responded with water cannons and tear gas. Six arrests were made and two photographers were injured.

The Brazilian police also said in a statement that on Sunday they had discovered a small homemade explosive device at a shrine to the Virgin Mary in the city of Aparecida the pope is scheduled to visit later this week. The small plastic, duct-taped device was destroyed.

READ MORE: Explosive found near site pope plans to visit

State of Rio de Janieo security officials met on Tuesday to find out what went wrong and how to fix it.

The Brazilian Ministry of Defense said they have deployed more than 20,000 military and police forces to deal with security for the weeklong event.

For the final Mass, in a large field west of Rio, the defense ministry said 400 soldiers will be stationed at the altar and 94 observation towers in the crowds, which officials say could top a million people.

"Logistically, (it is) the most complex event that the city ever faced," Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said. "We know that the pope likes to bend ceremonial rules, but that is more than welcome in Rio."

READ MORE: Pope Francis embarks on historic trip to Brazil

On Tuesday, bomb-sniffing dogs and police swept the main stage at Copacabana checking the altar and the VIP seating area. Three small Brazilian navy ships were sweeping along the shore, staggered out for several miles, maneuvering up and down the coast.

The pope was scheduled to rest on Tuesday. The formal program for World Youth Day begins Tuesday evening.

CNN's Hada Messia contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Brazil • Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (473 Responses)
  1. MaryAnn

    Oh please...

    July 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  2. Wes Scott

    A pope kicking off World Youth Day? Is that the day the pope, cardinals, bishops and priests celebrate a new batch of young boys for them to molest in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost/Spirit?

    July 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Go punch your owned willy whacker Wes and quit it with negative connotations about RCC's blunders and in case you didn't realize, there are many rich elders and their sons going to Asian countries for soul purposes of acquiring sensual activities with their slaveries children.... 🙁

      July 23, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
      • evolvedDNA

        LL slightly worse than blunders me thinks.

        July 23, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
      • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

        "owned willy wacker " ?
        Unlike you, who just rents one.

        July 24, 2013 at 12:56 am |
      • Dippy

        "Soul" purposes? Did you mean "sole"? Or do you even know what you wanted to say, loony?

        July 24, 2013 at 1:02 am |
        • A Frayed Knot

          Dippy,

          He might go to Asia for Seoul purposes...!

          July 24, 2013 at 1:05 am |
  3. Person

    Wouldn't have happened if there were no papacy.

    July 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  4. Big_D

    A Pope that knows he is safe because God protects him is a Pope with real faith. I LIKE HIM!

    July 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  5. dramatizing nothing

    So some people were happy to see the Pope? They might be crazy but they were not dangerous.

    July 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  6. pkfops

    I thought the pope could just fly over the crowds if he wanted to.

    July 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Keven

      What a rude post.

      July 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
      • paul

        rude vile pig

        July 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
        • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

          It's "pig-dog". What ? You never saw Monty Python ?
          Learn some proper insults.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V7zbWNznbs

      July 23, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  7. JSH

    There sure are a lot of hate filled people posting on this story. Some people are just consumed by hate to the point that it rules their lives.

    July 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Automatic Translator

      "I feel I know exactly what everyone is thinking, and I am going to come in and comment on it, and be judgmental. Screw the article."

      July 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      Yes, having hate in one's heart isn't a good thing, but the RCC does more harm than good in courtries like Brazil. While the nation has made a lot of advancements in the last decade there are still way too many poor people. The way for these people to get out of poverty is to limit the number of children they have. That means promoting artificial birth control. If this pope really cared for the people he would promote the use of birth control. So to me he is a fraud.

      July 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
      • lionlylamb

        You're kidding us aren't you jazzy...?

        "Artificial birth control"..? Who would benefit..." The poorest have not the finances so the richest would be the beneficiaries and not the poorest,,, Isn't that the way it now is in Brazil..? Do your research on what you entailed in being a solution and maybe you'd know why the poorest are being made poor in Brazil... Lack of gainful employment and lack of educating the most poor are two starting points...

        July 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
        • jazzguitarman

          You need to think outside of the box. The Brazilian government should supply free birth control to the poor and middle class. The problem would be that too many poor Brazilians would want to use this birth control because they are told it is a sin to do so by the RCC. So the government needs to tell the people that the RCC is mistaken and not to listen to them.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
        • stanley

          A condom may not be free, but you certainly don't need to be rich to afford one, even by Brazilian standards.

          July 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
        • lionlylamb

          Now why would the Brazilian governances want to supply their bread-N-butter folks a means to lesson the spread...?

          July 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      Yes, having hate in one's heart isn't a good thing, but the RCC does more harm than good in courtries like Brazil. While the nation has made a lot of advancements in the last decade there are still way too many poor people. The way for these people to get out of poverty is to limit the number of children they have. That means promoting artificial birth control. If this pope really cared for the people he would promote the use of birth control.

      July 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

      I'm sure there are a lot of people who think anyone who disagrees with them are "haters" posting here.

      July 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • JJ

      Yes, I hate child rapists. You have a problem with that?

      July 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
  8. JCS

    Isn't the omnipotent supernatural Jesus all the security a pope needs? It's not like you can just shoot one or something – He would never let that happen.

    July 23, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Mark

      Ask Mehmet Ali Aga.

      July 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • dramatizing nothing

      Stephen VI (896–897): Strangled[11]
      Stephen VIII/(IX) (939–942): Mutilated[citation needed]
      John XII (955–964): Presumed Murdered
      Benedict VI (973–974): Strangled[12]
      John XIV (983–984): Either by starvation, ill-treatment or direct murder[13]
      Gregory V (996–999): Poisoned[citation needed]

      Chronological list of popes who are alleged to have been murdered

      John VIII (872–882): Allegedly poisoned and then clubbed to death[14]
      Adrian III (884–885): Allegedly poisoned[citation needed]
      Leo V (903): Allegedly strangled[15]
      John X (914–928): Allegedly smothered with pillow[16]
      Stephen VII/(VIII) (929–931): Allegedly murdered[citation needed]
      Sergius IV (1009–1012): Allegedly murdered[citation needed]
      Clement II (1046–1047): Allegedly poisoned[17]
      Damasus II (1048): Allegedly murdered[citation needed]
      John XXI (1276-1277): While visiting the construction of a church, the roof collapsed on him, leading to conspiracy theories
      Celestine V (1294, died 1296): Held captive and allegedly murdered after his abdication, by order of his successor, Pope Boniface VIII[18]
      Boniface VIII (1294–1303): Death possibly (though unlikely) from the effects of ill-treatment one month before[19]
      Benedict XI (1304–1305): Allegedly poisoned; no evidence provided[citation needed]
      Pius XI (1922-1939): Allegedly (though unlikely), in connection with his doctor's having been the father of Benito Mussolini's mistress
      John Paul I (1978): Death just 33 days after Papal election led to conspiracy theories[20]

      July 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
      • Dave

        So why didn't their "god" protect them?

        July 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  9. lionlylamb

    We all are ambassadors of the Godly Beings which inhabit our bodies that are merely their buildings thru which they take up residencies inside... Even the worst of our lots are but containers from which God's generational families dare feast upon in times of their famine days and yearly crops failing to bring forth their needed fruits... For even the families of the first physical God are of our fleshly deserts and they too are subjected to die as it is written in Genesis 6:3 and their days are likewise numbered and said to be but 120 or so years...

    July 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      LL..actually you ,are like all of us. merely a living bag of potential .fertilizer. You will return to a natural state when you expire. in effect you have only borrowed the atoms of which you are made that happen to assemble themselves into the the familiar shape you see in a mirror. Those atoms in your body currently could have come from some any part of the universe, perhaps and expired star..most certainly the iron in your blood was forged in the death throes of suns long expired. No need for mini gods.

      July 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • LL TRANSLATOR

      THE WINDS OF CHANGE HAVE BROKEN, AND THEY STINK LIKE EGGS.

      Thank you for using the LL TRANSLATOR. Have a delicious day.

      July 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
  10. Chazbo

    There is absolutely no end to the ignorance of people on this planet. The catholic church has about as much to do about god as the nearest lamp post. And the fact that there are hundreds of millions, if not billions of people on this planet who believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy long after they should know better makes me ashamed to be a member of this obviously ill fated race.

    July 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Mr. Know it all

      WOW!! HE PROBABLY JUST GOT DONE MOLESTING SOME KIDS IN THE PLANE!! POPE BENEDIC KNOWS WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT. THATS WHY HE GOT "THE BOOT" AT THE VATICAN. LOL. TO MANY KIDS POPE TO MANY INNOCENT KIDS. POPE FRANCIS IS A LITTLE MORE CAREFULL!! AND THAT LADIES AND GENTLEMAN IS THE BRUTAL TRUTH, CAN YOU HANDLE IT?

      July 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • sam

        Really, though, my question for you is why go to the trouble of using upper and lower case in your screen name, but then just going for broke with the capslock in the message?

        July 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
      • Athy

        Only children write in all caps.

        July 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  11. humanistJohn420

    What a waste of the countries resources.

    July 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Dippy

      Country's, not countries.

      July 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  12. lakishajohnson

    Is it true that the Pope is visiting quack faith healer ‘john of god’ in Brazil., who has shamelessly been promoted and made famous/infamous by Oprah and just recently claims to be honored by the Catholic Church to a knight commander in the Papal Order of St Gregory. Pretty bizarre for a guy who claims to ‘heal’ with the spirits of dead people and by sticking forceps up one’s nose!

    http://lakishajj.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/faith-healer-medium-john-of-god-honoured-by-pope/

    July 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      My invisible pink unicorn swears it's all real.

      July 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • lakishajohnson

        This is more secret than your unicorn , and weirder.
        I'm sure your unicorn is not weird, but john of god..you know him

        July 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Dark Itch

      Thanks for shamelessly plugging your blog multiple times with the same copy/paste diatribe in every article. It's really deep, and meaningful. Awe-inspiring even.

      But I'm not going to visit it or read it.

      July 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
      • lakishajohnson

        sorry to offend, itch
        I not very wordy
        but story true and bizarre
        mayhap I write better next time..
        or you?

        July 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  13. MagicPanties

    How about one real miracle to prove this guy is in touch with "god", eh?
    Not gonna happen is it?
    Gee, is it because it's all a fantasy?
    No, that's silly, much sillier than virgin birth and rising from the dead, right?

    July 23, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Mark

      If you are looking for something big, showy and public, you aren't going to witness a miracle. Small, personal miracles happen every day.

      July 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • Dark Itch

        Incorrect, Mark. The bible states otherwise.

        End of discussion.

        July 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
        • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

          The Bible says a lot of nonsense that is untrue. The Bible says when Jebus rose many others also rose with him, and the temple curtain was torn, and rocks were split. Not one of the zombies from the zombie invasion were ever reported. The virgin birth never happened. It was a mistranslation of a word used in Isaiah which meant "woman of marriageable age".
          There are so many historical inaccuracies it would be impossible to list them all. For starters, the list of Edomite Kings is in the wrong order, and Moses talks about kings who reigned after he dies. The generations listed in Matthew is incorrect, and Mary's genealogy is impossible to reconcile with Joseph's.

          July 23, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
        • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

          People who say "end of discussion" have something to hide, or are insecure. Fact.
          End of discussion.

          July 23, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
        • Dark Itch

          Bippy, the fact of the matter is that I'm an atheist, and your diatribe was aimed incorrectly and pointlessly in the wrong direction. I have nothing to hide. I stated a fact, and that's the end.

          Only republicans think that everyone has something to hide.

          July 24, 2013 at 10:46 am |
        • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

          You don't get to decide whats the end of anything.

          July 24, 2013 at 11:22 am |
      • ME II

        "Small, personal miracles happen every day."

        Small personal miracles = coincidence

        July 24, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  14. Mark

    bostontola: "tempt" is one translation. "dare" is another.

    July 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • sam

      So god has anger issues and can be tempted and dared? It's nice to know we have that kind of power over him.

      You better stop making god look so small or he might be tempted to do....something.

      July 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • Mark

        I don't care if you're an atheist. I can't understand why you and your friends care so much that I'm a Christian.

        July 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • sam

          I didn't know (or care) you're christian. You don't know (and should stop caring) whether I'm atheist.

          If you want to be left alone, stop making god out to be some kind of boogey man and using him to make proxy threats.

          July 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
        • sam

          Mark replies with 'I'm just warning you with The Truth' in 3...2...1....

          July 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Jean

      So how is one supposed to interpret the words when the translations are incorrect?

      July 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • sam

        You need the Secret Handshake to understand the words as they were meant.

        July 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
      • Wes Scott

        Personally, I decode those messages with my trusty Captain Midnight Secret Decoder Ring. It has worked since I was about 6 years old, and it has never failed me.

        July 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  15. C. LaSalle

    While there is a huge value in many young Catholics being able to come together with the Pope and many vocations result I feel it's no expensive and unsafe for these types of events.

    The money spent could be going to local charities where the pilgrims live and these young people could come together with local religious leaders much closer to home.

    July 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      A goodness day to you C. LaSalle... you wrote, "I feel it's no expensive and unsafe for these types of events"...

      I think you meant to write, I feel it's so expensive and unsafe for these types of events...?

      July 23, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  16. lionlylamb

    What many folks seem to encourage here are rival bickering between young blooded humanists who banter about incessantly never judging their owned amorous infidelities and always trivializing the bitterness of others' written wordage... "I am what I am Sam" are the earmarks of stand alone infidels who dare not seek the fidelities of devotional humanisms flavored austerities emanating with frugal discourse above the plainness of spoken dysenteries... "Bite the bullet" antagonists on both young sides will never find frugal concessions nor open the door gently...

    July 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • LL TRANSLATOR

      VOMIT

      Thank you for using the LL TRANSLATOR. Have a delicious day.

      July 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  17. Athy

    By the way, what is a "nightmare day?"

    July 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Joe

      Try to read a couple of lionlylamb's posts and you will get the idea.

      July 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • Athy

        I gave up on that long ago.

        July 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  18. bostontola

    Someone posted "Do not tempt the Lord your God."

    Question: If god is omniscient, how can god get tempted?

    July 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      No... not logic... brain... exploding...

      July 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • sam

      It's funny that we apparently have so much power over god, we can tempt and dare him into doing stuff.

      July 23, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  19. lionlylamb

    It seems an affront for atheists to wrench among the spiritual a sensation of mild insinuations to cartwheel the lessor religious aspects subjective reasoning abilities...

    July 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • John Jones

      Jump on the atheist bashing bandwagon, lionly. Show what a good Christian you are.

      July 23, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
      • lionlylamb

        You made my point...

        July 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
  20. lionlylamb

    It seems an affront for atheists to wrench among the spiritual a sensation of mild insinuations to cartwheel the lessor religious aspects subjective reasoning abilities

    July 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

      Been drinking again, I see.

      July 24, 2013 at 1:38 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.