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Is Pope Francis safe in Rio?

2013-07-26

Footage of the Popes arrival  in Rio, caused a big stir across the globe. Many questioned whether if Pope was  actually safe, as he went through the streets of the Brazilian  city. Vatican security officers were faced with a real challenge as they tried  to control the massive crowds that wanted to greet the Pontiff. Hundreds huddled around the Popes car after it took a wrong turn and got stuck  in a traffic. The scene triggered a discussion about whether the Popes  openness, poses a threat. 

 "It seemed like the Pope wasn't really safe in Brazil. There's a lot of danger around.”
 "I thought it was nice that the Pope would use that vehicle, despite the danger. He wanted to be close to the people, and show his closeness.”
 "You never know, there could always be somebody who wants to harm the Pope, so it's a big risk”.

The Vatican's spokesperson, Fr. Federico Lombardi, told Vatican Radio that it all happened because of a 'slight mistake'. He also admitted that even though many were 'a bit concerned and surprised about this', it was all a reflection of people's affection towards the Pope.  Meanwhile, far from being anxious about the matter, Pope Francis indirectly responded to the incident through his Twitter account. In a message, he thanked everyone 'for a magnificent welcome in Rio'. But surely, the Vatican security team was faced with a couple of very intense hours. 

 "His security may have seemed a bit aggressive, but it's their duty to protect him”.

"Nobody can be blamed. They did everything they could. There were just too many people. I think that the number of security officials was less than what was needed”.


All of this, despite the fact that shortly before leaving for Brazil, Lombardi told the press that the Vatican was not worried about the Pope's safety. But with the spontaneous attitude Pope Francis often shows, this is not the first time Vatican security face a hitch.


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