July 25th, 2013
01:12 PM ET

'Slum pope' visits Brazil's poor

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

Rio de Janeiro (CNN) - Pope Francis visited one of Rio de Janeiro's most dangerous and impoverished neighborhoods Thursday, saying that no society pushing the poor to the margins can succeed.

"I say: You are not alone; the church is with you; the pope is with you," Francis told residents of the notorious Varginha favela, or slum.

"I carry each of you in my heart, and I make my own the intentions that you carry deep within you: thanksgiving for joys, pleas for help in times of difficulty, a desire for consolation in times of grief and suffering."

Francis, whose concern for the poor has earned him the nickname the "slum pope" in Latin America, is in Brazil through Sunday for World Youth Day, a weeklong Catholic event.

Huge crowds have gathered wherever Francis goes, providing an early indicator of the new pope's immense popularity during his first overseas trip as leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

On Wednesday, Francis visited a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary and what he called "a shrine to suffering," a Rio hospital that treats drug addicts.

Francis traveled to Varginha on Thursday to deliver a speech on poverty, hope and social justice, steady themes thus far in his young papacy.

"Shortly after his election to the papacy, Pope Francis called for a 'church for the poor,' " said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Canadian priest who assists the Vatican communications department.  "His visit today ... offers us a unique opportunity to see the Bishop of Rome giving flesh and blood to those words."

The pope was driven to the favela in the open-air "popemobile," occasionally reaching out to touch the crowds. Women along the route thrust infants over the barricades for the pope to bless.

Volunteers linked arms to hold the crowd back in spots without barricades. Hundreds of military and police lined the route, and more than a dozen motorcycle officers followed.

[cnnvideo url='http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2013/07/25/nr-marquez-pope-walks-brazil-soccer-stadium.cnn' inline='true']

Brazilian officials have voiced concern about the pope's security, upgrading it Wednesday to "high risk" after crowds swarmed a car carrying the pope shortly after his arrival two days earlier.

Security raised to 'high risk' for pope in Brazil

Varginha is deemed "occupied" by the Brazilian government after police took over the community last year, forcing out drug gangs who had controlled it for decades. Despite the heavy police presence, locals say the area remains dangerous after dark.

In Varginha, Francis stopped at a small stone Catholic chapel called San Girolamo Emiliani, where he said a short silent prayer, blessed a new altar and presented the community with a new chalice.

Outside, a group of children presented the pontiff with a soccer scarf from his favorite Argentine club.

From the chapel, he walked in the rain into a house and then to a soccer stadium, weaving from one side of the road to the other and greeting onlookers with a broad smile splashed across his face.

At the soccer stadium, a crowd of 3,000 gathered, including Marilene da Luz, a retired cashier who jumped up and down to the music playing.

“He’s such a humble man, it makes sense that he comes to the favelas; this is where the humble people are,” da Luz said.

Speaking in Portuguese, the pope told the rain-soaked capacity crowd he wanted to visit every house in Brazil and have a small coffee with people. But “no cachaca,” he joked, referring to the strong Brazilian liquor popular with the poor.

Francis addressed the crowd in plain language, telling them that even the poor have much  to offer.

"You can offer the world a valuable lesson in solidarity, a word that is too often forgotten or silenced, because it is uncomfortable,” the pope said.

Francis' visit comes after a month of antigovernment protests in Brazil that often turned violent. Protesters have cited their anger over corruption and lack of government services.

At Varginha, the pope seemed to speak directly to those concerns and was met with cheers.

"Brazil, there are many young people. Dear young friends, you have a particular sensitivity towards injustice, but you are often disappointed by facts that speak of corruption on the part of people who put their own interests before the common good," he said.

"To you and to all, I repeat: Never yield to discouragement; do not lose trust; do not allow your hope to be extinguished."

Pope Francis embarks on historic trip to Brazil

“No amount of ‘peace-building’ will be able to last, nor will harmony and happiness be attained in a society that ignores, pushes to the margins or excludes a part of itself,” he said.

“The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty!”

The pope stressed that a nation must be built on the fundamentals of life, family, education, health and security.

"Let us always remember this: Only when we are able to share do we become truly rich," he told the large crowd, including slum residents, gathered in the soccer stadium. "Everything that is shared is multiplied!"

Even in Varginha, a neighborhood where poverty, drugs and violence had run rampant, hope must continue, he said.

“Situations can change; people can change. Be the first to seek to bring good; do not grow accustomed to evil but defeat it.”

Later Thursday, the pope was to lead a religious service on Copacabana Beach, with upward of 1 million Catholics expected to attend.

CNN’s Barbara Arvanitidis, Hada Messia and Daniel Burke contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Brazil • Catholic Church • Economy • Pope Francis • Poverty

soundoff (370 Responses)
  1. prophet

    just to educate the chrsitians, jsus is not the name of Our Saviour, so alraedy the deception is evident. Our Saviour Name is Yeshua Mashaich and any other name is blasphemy and all chrstianity is an attempt to deceive people. So lets pray fro the chrsitians as they are misled. people.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • bostontola

      Thanks for coming. The Christian fundamentalists don't look as extreme.

      July 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Julie

      We Christians believe that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all one supreme being. Kind if like when you get marrie, you become one in Gods eyes. Although we can't explain how this works, we have faith. And I think the fact that you think you are correct, shows pride. You should be able to admit that even you don't know...that you too have faith in what you believe in. So try to be more humble, and not all-knowing. Christianity is a way if life... To treat others the way you want to be treated. Where is the wrong in that?

      July 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • leonardo



      July 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • leonardo



      July 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    if I could help the poor starving people of Rio I would, that's the difference between me and your god.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • neoritter

      You can help them. Go there and buy them food.

      It seems hypocritical to chastise God when you are truly unwilling to make an effort. You think you can't help because you've lost hope and faith. And therefore blame God for yours and others problems.

      July 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Kevin

      The amount of time you've spent wasting your time on here (and I'm sure that's multiplied exponentially on video games and your other internet activity), you could have done some good. Nothing worse than a guy who claims he would help, but doesn't.

      July 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
  3. Bob

    He's a good man, but if he really wants to help the poor he should be taking birth control pills with him on his visits.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Doobs

      And condoms. Men share in the responsibility too, and birth control pills don't protect from STDs.

      July 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  4. prophet

    the real saints lived amongst the poor, he only visits them and lives the other 362 days in luxury lying to the people.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • bostontola

      Real saints, that's funny. The real gods lived on Mount Olympus.

      July 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • swimmer1

      you are an absolute idiot

      July 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Julie

      Once again, "prophet" you should not judge... It shows a sense of pride

      July 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • neoritter

      Real Saints are dead. You can't be a Saint until you've died and gone to heaven. EVERYONE in heaven is a Saint.

      July 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  5. Bill Jones

    God bless you Francis, people are sitting on the fence and just need a light to guide them. Blessed are those who come to serve, for Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. May the holy spirit continue to guide your heart.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      more hokey, greeting card sayings.
      like safety blankets for Christians.
      they can spit them out on demand.
      and somehow think that they proved a point.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
      • One Tired Mother

        Shut up. Please.

        July 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          OK ... but only because you asked me nicely.

          July 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  6. prophet

    anyone can visit the poor, but how many leave them some money, he doesn't this pope is a pretender and liar and is misleading people.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Matt

      And what might the money do for these people? Nothing, money is not the solution to poverty.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • swimmer1

      you know NOTHING so STOP TALKING

      July 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  7. LiveFromATX

    no wonder he lingers, blesses, and prays – that's the only Varginha he'll ever see.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  8. rebeccahaworth108

    I think the Pope is doing the world a great service by showing compassion and care for ALL people – that EVERYONE is worth love and respect. I'm not a Catholic, but I still have admiration for him.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Except gays. No compassion for gays.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Showing "True Compassions" would be the RCC's selling off their material goods and giving the money to all the poor but alas the papacy continues onward blindly considerate and unjustly confident of those most poor... Until ALL religions give their ALL, I will continue on detesting ALL self-sovereign religiously inept keeping their faiths propped up by "shysterisms" of financial crockeries leaving their poorest ever to be poor...

      July 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • neoritter

        Ignorance must be a nice outfit for you. Most of the things the Vatican has you can't just sell.

        July 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  9. Dyslexic doG

    and Cristo Redentor looked down upon the poor and starving masses of Rio and said "I am an imaginary figure and that man with the security detail is head of one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated on man .. please don't give him any more of your money." But alas, the people of the world no longer listened to Christ, they had become idolaters and now worshipped the Pope and the catholic MVP club they call the saints. The money kept flowing back to the Vatican, fueled by these Papal fund raising tours. And so the scam continues ...

    July 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  10. Kevin

    No organizations, besides governmental agencies, do more for the poor on a daily basis than Catholic Charities and assorted Christian relief programs.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      They could do so much more. If real estate is taken into account, the RCC is worth many trillions. They could pretty much end global poverty in one fell swoop.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • Kevin

        Agree, they can do much more. But there isn't enough money in the world to eradicate poverty. Maybe forestall it for a few months. The RCC is a flawed organization run by humans, but I think it has a great mission.

        July 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          yes there ABSOLUTELY IS enough money in the world to eradicate poverty!

          any more silly questions?

          July 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • Kevin

          People who attack the idea of religion (which is happening on this board) because the RCC does not do enough to eradicate poverty should also attack the idea of secularism because the Brazilian government has not done enough to eradicate poverty. Unless, of course, you are a hypocrite.

          Should both do more? Of course. But let's be a little more discriminating on the logic of taking shots at religion. Fine to criticize the RCC, but the idea that religious charity is somehow wholly disingenuous and unworthy of praise is dumb.

          July 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • lancelinton

          You are right. There isn't enough money. People will argue against that statement, but it boils down to will. There isn't enough will in the world to end poverty. It isn't enough for the RCC to want to end poverty. Everyone else has to as well. But we have too many out there that hang on to their wallets so hard and won't give $5 to a random beggar.

          July 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • lancelinton

          You are correct that there is not enough money. Even if there was it still would not be good enough as throwing money at a problem has never fixed anything as big a poverty. There has to be will, a desire to fix this problem and the will of the RCC is not enough to fix poverty throughout the world. Other people have to chip in as well. Unfortunately they are too busy attacking the church to help save some starving people.

          July 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • lancelinton

          You are correct that there is not enough money. Even if there was it still would not be good enough as throwing money at a problem has never fixed anything as big a poverty. There has to be will, a desire to fix this problem and the will of the RCC is not enough to fix poverty throughout the world. Other people have to chip in as well. Unfortunately they are too busy attacking the church to help save some starving people.

          July 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
      • swimmer1

        why are people never satisfied...go attack the Red Cross or the Peace Corps for "doing but not doing enough" because the facts show the RCC does more than those organizations for the poor

        July 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • Julie

        One third if the world is dying if starvation, while one third is dying from obesity. This is where our answer to world poverty lies... Not in one man. We worship our sports Gods in huge stadiums, and spend billions in sports things, if this money were spend on the poor, that would end poverty. So I think it's sports that should be blamed, not the pope

        July 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          While I agree with your basic point – the collective "we" do not pay enough attention to preventable problems such as poverty, disease, starvation, etc., the RCC will always stand out as a target for criticism because of its stance on birth control, the lack of which is a major contributing factor in poverty and starvation but also the massive wealth that the RCC (and many other churches are guilty of this) has accumulated over the centuries.

          July 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • neoritter

          People talk about the church's massive "wealth" but most of it can not be liquidated. Some because legal and real world limitations prevent this, others because that wealth is used to generate the money used to support the RCC's charitable operations around the world. Most of the time, the Vatican's budget is in the red and they generally give more than they take in.

          July 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Anything that is of value can be liquidated. They have over 7 Billion US in just real estate alone.
          The church does have many charities, in the wrong way. They will give you lots of money for the care of HIV/AIDS but we refuse to help in actually preventing the spread of the disease. An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Why aren't they trying to prevent the spread of disease? One reason could be that unhealthy and needy people that rely on the church are far easier to convert or at least get them to say they are believers.
          If I was starving and someone offered me food but I first had to say I was a believer, I would of course lie to get the food. There is a lot of that going on, more than can ever be measured.

          So this pope is trying to appear closer to the people...good. Now will he try to get the church into the 21st century, and help prevent the spread of disease, open schools without the religious bias, and go completely transparent as to the criminal activity the RCC has been doing for many, many decades? When I see full disclosure of all cover-ups, and when I see just compensation to all, and I see the RCC strip out the gold from their palace, then I might start to get behind them. In the mean time, the organization is corrupt, as it always has been and it is really difficult to quantify if they do more harm than good, or more good than harm.

          July 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Kevin

      Proselytizing vie charity is ingenuous charity.

      DWB and UNICEF do it for the sake of doing it. They also don't assume you're going to swallow their lies when they do... because they have no dogma attached to those care packages.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      catholic charity is just religious marketing expense: charity is only ever given with a healthy dose of proselytizing!

      July 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
      • Kevin

        That's a tired and very minimally true statement.

        July 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          that's a true and very minimally tired statement.

          July 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • LiveFromATX

      but (secular) government agencies do more. You don't have to be religious to do good, or do good in the name of religion.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Steven CaboWabo

      The question I ask any charity is: how much of donation money goes to services and good for the intended group needing help and how much goes for the program/people costs. My understanding is that 'Catholic Charities" is a loose term to describe various groups, so caution if someone uses those words when looking for donations.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  11. Doobs

    "On Wednesday, Francis visited a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary and what he called "a shrine to suffering," a Rio hospital that treats drug addicts."

    The RCC rationalizes its greed by calling human suffering a blessing, something that you should actively seek. It tells you that if you suffer, you are close to god.

    The summer before I began teaching in a RCC school, first grade, I was going through the bookshelves and reading anything I wasn't familiar with. There was a book about children who became saints. The first story I read was about a girl (sorry, don't remember her name) who prayed every day for god to make her suffer as Jeebus suffered. God answered her prayers. One day, she was kneeling before a crucifix and praying. The crucifix fell off the wall, hit her on the head, and caused a painful wound that never healed until she died.

    I took the book to my boss and told him that I was NOT going to read that to five and six year old children. He read the story, said he'd talk to me about it later, and I never heard about it again.

    This is the RCC, the same people who brought you Pedos R Us.

    "Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus – a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.” -Mother Teresa, who never built a state of the art hospital in India, or anywhere else, with the millions donated to her charities, but flew on private jets to the best and most expensive clinics around the world when she got sick. No one knows how those millions were spent, as they went into the Vatican's general fund, despite being designated for charitable purposes.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Kevin

      Suffering for a good purpose. Not just suffering. Big difference.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Doobs

      How does the suffering of malnourished children serve a "good purpose"? How would me telling a gruesome, nightmarish story of a god who intentionally hurts children to five and six year olds serve a "good purpose"?

      It seems to me that suffering is only a blessing when it's someone else doing the suffering.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • Kevin

        We are discussing two different types of suffering. Mine is that of able-bodied adults who are to freely choose a path towards a greater good of others involving suffering along the way. Yours is a tragic suffering that the able-bodied are missioned to stop.

        July 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • Doobs

          I am not talking about able bodied adults making informed decisions.

          Read my original post again, and if you wish to respond to what I actually said, great. Don't try to divert the subject with irrelevant philosophical arguments.

          July 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Kevin

          What are you saying? That Catholic dogma is that the suffering of children brings them closer to God? I don't think that's what Catholic dogma teaches – it is merely for the type of suffering you are describing, that during suffering, the strength one can draw upon is from a closeness with God (or a feeling of something greater that can help one). One might feel a closeness with God that they are not alone...I think that's what your quote of mother Theresa was referencing. Certainly, nothing I've seen in Christian theology advocates a suffering for the purpose of suffering. That story is dumb. If that story and your reaction changed your entire spiritual path....wow. I feel your suffering. Ha, just kidding.

          July 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • Doobs

          The pope called the hospital for drug addicts a "shrine to suffering". Not "a shrine to those who suffer", but a shrine that glorifies suffering itself.

          Mother Teresa was not talking about vague "drawing closer to god" crap either. Her "hospitals" refused to administer appropriate pain medication to dying patients, instead giving them aspirin and other NSAIDs. She could have stopped the suffering of those people, and helped them ease out of life with some dignity, but didn't. Instead she had the gall to tell dying people that this was god's way of showing them his love.

          Here are her words, from the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 4. 1994:

          Holiness is not the luxury of the few; it is a simply duty, for you and for me, because Jesus has very clearly stated, "Be ye holy as my father in heaven is holy." So let us pray for each other that we grow in love for each other, and through this love become holy as Jesus wants us to be for he died out of love for us.

          One day I met a lady who was dying of cancer in a most terrible condition. And I told her, I say, "You know, this terrible pain is only the kiss of Jesus — a sign that you have come so close to Jesus on the cross that he can kiss you." And she joined her hands together and said, "Mother Teresa, please tell Jesus to stop kissing me".

          That storyI described wasn't dumb, it was horrifying and inappropriate for children. It had many more stories that were variations on the one I described, that god answers children's prayers by hurting them, and that is a good thing. It means you are holy in his eyes. It was an RCC sanctioned book, complete with imprimatur, that had been placed in my classroom by the curriculum development experts in the diocese with the expectation that I would read it to the children. Draw your own conclusions from that about the RCC's stance on childhood suffering.

          July 25, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • Kevin

          I can't comprehend my post for you. Sorry, maybe you just can't. No worries, there are variations of reading comprehension ability amongst the public. Take care.

          July 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
      • Brad

        You don't get it, do you Doobs? Suffering is an essential part of the human condition (unless you are so special and god-like that you are exempt from suffering). The Catholic Church does not teach passive, fatalistic acceptance of suffering or misfortune, or consider those who suffer to be disfavored by God, as do many other religions (Islam for one example). Rather, the message of the Church is that even those who suffer misfortune, or poverty, or illness, are still loved, and worth of respect.

        July 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • Doobs

          Brad, I think you're the one who doesn't get it. Read my original post. I never said the RCC considers those who suffer to be disfavored by god. In fact, I said the opposite, that the RCC teaches people that suffering is a gift from god because he loves us and wants us to draw near.

          All people go through suffering, and your little jab was petty and unnecessary. However, refusing appropriate pain medication to a dying patient, when you could so easily provide it, and then telling them that their pain is a kiss from Jeebus is hateful and immoral.

          July 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • swimmer1

      you never worked at a catholic school...this is all a made up claim

      u are a teenager who gets their worldview from odd future and r/atheism

      July 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • Doobs

        I had to look up Odd Future. I thought it was a typo or something. No, don't listen to them.

        July 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doobs, are you a nun?

      July 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • Doobs


        July 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • neoritter

      For someone claiming to have been a teacher for RCC sunday classes, you apparently know very little about Catholic doctrine.

      July 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  12. jack

    Enough talk Mr. P lets ee the green!

    July 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  13. sly

    "No society pushing it's poor to the margin can be tolerated".

    Guess this Pope hasn't visited America. We have 39 million fellow citizens who cannot afford ANY health care.

    And we have a once proud political party, the Republicans, that advocate that these 25% of Americans should be deprived of health care.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I'm not a Republican and I agree with that sentiment.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      And nobody is being deprived of healthcare, they're deprived of free healthcare.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
      • Saraswati

        When people are starving in countries that have enough food to go around do you use the same wording? Are they not deprived of food, but just deprived of free food?

        Do you say this about the many people in this country who work hard at $10/hour and can't afford healthcare even though their work is contributing to the economy?

        July 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Yes, I say the exact same thing.

          July 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        I used to be a libertarian, until I realized that although I would prosper under such a system, my idiot brother and elderly mother would be eaten alive. Don't you have any friends or family without healthcare insurance? You do realize that people that cannot afford healthcare insurance will always be cared for on the public dime anyway?

        July 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  14. Erlo

    ...And the the pope promptly flew home to his gorgeous home where he can be surrounded by gold.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • neoritter

      Except oh wait, he's not using the traditional Vatican Papal apartments for his living arrangements, only to receive dignataries and guests. He doesn't use it for his own personal use.

      July 25, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  15. Zombie God

    "Everything that is shared is multiplied!"
    Except the wealth of the church

    July 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • neoritter

      Except they've shared a lot and it's multiplied and come back to them.

      July 25, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
  16. lunchbreaker

    I'm sure there is a "Slum Pope Millionare" joke we can make here.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  17. Lee

    "Let us always remember this: Only when we are able to share, do we become truly rich," he told the large crowd, including slum residents, gathered in the soccer stadium. "Everything that is shared is multiplied!"

    Then the pope pulled out his checkbook, with the Vatican's wealth now reaching billions of dollars in excess, and wrote out a suitable amount to help this struggling nation with their monetary issues for generations to come.
    He waved his little wave, made a bunch of empty promises and then left with his security detail. May God bless the slums or at least let them die a quick death!

    July 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Zombie God

      Pope talking is like people praying...they think they are making a difference when they want to do nothing

      July 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Dana

      Sorry, but billions is not enough to "fix" a country the size of Brazil. Do the math. Oh wait, if you could, we wouldnt be talking about this.....

      July 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
      • Doobs

        So if you can't solve the entire problem, don't bother trying to solve any of it?

        July 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • Bryan

        That's the mentality that drives me nuts. EVERY little bit can, and does, help. You strike me as the type that would have 20 grand in debt, win 5 grand and spend it all without a dime going torwards that 20 grand debt.

        July 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
      • Lee


        Clearly, I meant give money to the slum he was visiting and was presumably born/from, not give billions to the struggling country of Brazil. Who knows what the leaders would do with that amount, that fast...lol Spanish-speaking countries have a large emphasis on family/religion, i.e. no one will accuse them of being "too smart" or would actually give access to billions of dollars. Duh.

        July 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Edson de Jesus Melo Cunha

          Just a small detail. We speak Portuguese in Brazil!

          July 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • neoritter

      Except the Vatican typically runs in the red not in the black or in "excess". Is ignorance the new black around here? You all wear it so well.

      July 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  18. rino

    I really like this popeo, even if I am not christian. His humanity and humility inspires me.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Zombie God

      Delusional people do not inspire me

      July 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        If by delusional you mean theists, can you honestly say you have never been inspired by a theist?

        July 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Zombie God

          I am my own inspiration

          July 25, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          So nobody on the planet apart from yourself inspires you?

          July 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • Zombie God

          Perhaps when I was younger...not now. Someone asked me who my favorite artist was, I answered "me". My previous work inspires me on my current work.

          July 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  19. Zombie God

    "I say: You are not alone; the church is with you, the pope is with you bring me your young children," Francis told residents of the notorious Varginha favela, or slum.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Julie

      "Zombie God" you seem full of pride... And full of yourself.... Let me ask you one question... If you find out what you believe in is wrong at the end of your life, what will become of you then? I am not a betting man, but if I was... I would live my life in such a way that would get me into heaven....just in case it does exist. Just sayin......

      July 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
      • Zombie God

        I have yet to find a god worthy of praise. It is better to burn than to serve as s slave to one you do not respect. As for you playing the odds, it wont help because you lack true faith. We will be bunk mates in hell if it exists.

        July 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care


        That’s called Pascal’s Wager. Look it up.

        What if you’re wrong about what god is real and any of the many other religions on Earth that are mutually exclusive to yours is right?

        If there is no god then you have wasted your life believing in fairy tales when you could have been having fun. What a wasted life.

        July 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • Julie

          What God would punish someone for spending their life standing up for what they believe is the truth? And I pray that one day you too find the truth, and experience the peace I feel each day. Although I may be wrong, I look t mother teresa and her beliefs as an example. She did so many good things in her life, all because she believed in God

          July 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • Zombie God

        Since you are playing the odds, are you living according to the rules regarding the current active gods in the world? Do you realize how shallow and pathetic your statement was?

        July 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • Julie

          I agree, it was a shallow statement. But let me say this.... I believe that, what I believe in is the truth, what god would punish someone for spending their life standing up for what they think is right, no matter how wrong they may be. I will pray that you find the truth and a beautiful wife that will change your heart. I see through your comments and they show me that you are suffering. I look to mother teresa as a role model. she was wonderful, and did lots of things right. For that she will be truly blessed, even if her God was not the correct one.

          July 26, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
      • What IF


        - What if the real "God" is Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Quetzalcoatl, or any of the other of thousands which have been dreamed up over the centuries? Some of them are very jealous and vengeful and will relegate you to nasty places for not worshiping them. You'd better cover your butt by believing in ALL of them and fulfill their wishes and demands.

        - What if the real "God" prefers those who use logic and reason and punishes you as a silly, gullible sycophant?

        - What if the real "God" detests those who believe something just to cover their butts in eternity?

        July 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • Julie

          I look to mother Teresa (and her beliefs) as a role model. She did so many things right. Besides, what god would punish someone for spending their life standing up for what they believe is the truth, no matter how wrong they may be. I pray that one day you find the truth, so you too may experience the peace I feel inside. Although I may be wrong, I see life as an instant, and what we do and how we treat others in this instant, defies what happens after.

          July 26, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  20. Bill Deacon

    This pope is doing a great work to show the world how the Church is relevant to the world today while still upholding our long held traditions and values. Vivat Jesus! Viva Christo Rey!

    July 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Are you going to respond to my comment on the "Security raised to`high risk' for pope in Brazil" article?

      July 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Doobs

      Or mine?

      July 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Zombie God

      Or mine.... Bill has a way fo making his statement then running off.

      July 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sorry, I got caught up in the real life concerns of the day. Dave, I was interested in our discussion. Did you ever post the catechism that gives you pause regarding hell?

      Doobs, not so interested in your lunacy

      Zombie, I don't recall that we had a conversation going. Would you refresh me?

      July 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Doobs

      Bill Deacon,

      Please tell me what is "lunacy" about this question:

      How many state of the art hospitals did Mother Teresa build with the millions donated to her charities?

      You know the answer. You just don't want to admit it.

      July 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
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About this blog

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.