Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
PILGRIMS FLOOD RIO BEACH FOR POPE'S FAREWELL MASS
RIO DE JANEIRO, Rio de Janeiro, July 28, 2013 (AFP) - A sea of pilgrims packed a Brazilian beach Sunday after spending the night on the sand for a final mass with Pope Francis, ending a visit aimed at reigniting the Catholic faith.
Authorities expected three million people to bid farewell to Latin America's first pope and endless crowds of flag-waving faithful gave him a rock star-like welcome as he cruised by in his open-sided popemobile.
The Argentine pontiff, who flies back to Rome in the evening, waved at the adoring throng, kissed babies and sipped mate from his native country handed to him by a pilgrim as his white jeep took him to a giant beach stage on Copacabana.
Presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Cristina Kirchner of Argen-
The head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics urged his young flock to shake up their congregations
tina and Evo Morales of Bolivia were on hand for the World Youth Day mass, a gathering of young Catholics from around the world.
The head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics urged his young flock to shake up their congregations and spread the gospel. He exhorted fellow clergymen to get out of their parishes and meet the faithful face-to-face, especially in the slums.
During a vigil on Copacabana on Saturday, he delved into political and social troubles in Brazil and elsewhere, voicing support for young protesters pressing for change.
“The young people in the street are the ones who want to be ac- tors of change. Please don't let others be actors of change,” the pope said, adding that they should use a “Christian response” to social and political concerns.
After Brazil was rocked by massive protests last month demanding better public services and an end to corruption, the pope urged the country's elite to confront social turmoil with “constructive dialogue.”