Pilgrims meet Pope Francis in Brazil

Tuesday 23 July 2013 23.06
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Pope Francis met Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff yesterday
Pope Francis met Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff yesterday
Over 1.5m pilgrims are expected to take part in the festival
Over 1.5m pilgrims are expected to take part in the festival
Anti-government demonstrators set off fires amid complaints over the cost of the visit
Anti-government demonstrators set off fires amid complaints over the cost of the visit
A device was found in the bathroom of a parking structure in Aparecida
A device was found in the bathroom of a parking structure in Aparecida
There is a heavy security presence for the papal visit
There is a heavy security presence for the papal visit

Tens of thousands of pilgrims greeted Pope Francis in Brazil as he began his first trip abroad since becoming head of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis is on a week-long trip to Brazil for the World Youth Festival.

More than 1.5 million pilgrims are expected to join him for the celebrations.

There have already been protests by anti-government demonstrators who set off fires amid complaints over the cost of the visit.

The Brazilian government has spent an estimated $52m on the trip.

The Pope was officially welcomed to Brazil during a ceremony at Guanabara palace in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.

He met Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and also took a tour in an open top motorcade.

It is the first time the 76-year-old Argentine-born Pope has returned to his home continent since being elected earlier this year.

Brazilian police last night found a small homemade explosive in a parking garage near a Catholic sanctuary in the city of Aparecida where Francis is scheduled to visit tomorrow.

The explosive, made with a plastic pipe wrapped in tape, was safely detonated by a police bomb squad.

The device was found in the bathroom of a parking structure in Aparecida, a city in Sao Paulo state whose sanctuary honours the patroness of Brazil, Our Lady of Aparecida.

It was unclear if the device was related to the papal visit.

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