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Pope Francis hails Brazil despite raucous welcome

Published on Jul 23, 2013 10:32 PM
 
Pope Francis waves at faithfuls from the popemobile on his way to the Guanabara Palace after his arrival in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, July 22, 2013. Pope Francis's popularity on his Latin American home turf posed a challenge to Brazilian authorities on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, after adoring crowds mobbed his car on his landmark visit to Rio de Janeiro. -- PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Pope Francis's popularity on his Latin American home turf posed a challenge to Brazilian authorities on Tuesday after adoring crowds mobbed his car on his landmark visit to Rio de Janeiro.

The fervour that surrounded the pontiff's arrival on Monday initially wrong-footed the organisers of the trip, which began with a raucous reception from throngs of cheering pilgrims.

Despite heightened security for Latin America's first pope, legions of Roman Catholics were able to block his convoy and reach inside his car's open window.

The 76-year-old Argentine appeared delighted and waved and smiled while bodyguards struggled to keep people at bay. His secretary later admitted to being terrified, but the pope was upbeat.

 
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