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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis, making final adjustments for his trip to Brazil

While planning his schedule for his week in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis decided to make his own adjustments to the program, which had been approved by his predecessor.

First of all, for his stay in Rio, Pope Francis specifically asked his cooperators to arrange an open-air popemobile, instead of the glassed version normally used in the past. Even though some are concerned with safety, the Vatican seems very confident.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDIVatican Spokesperson ;“Vatican authorities always put a lot of trust in local authorities, which are surely competent. They know their jobs and they will surely do everything they can to assure everyone?s safety.”

As for the week?s scheduled meetings, another special request by the Pope was that a visit to a slum in Rio be included in the program. That will take place on Thursday, July 25th.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDIVatican Spokesperson ;“The Pope will move around the slum by foot. He will also go inside one of the houses to meet with a family. Then he will proceed to the soccer stadium, where he will meet the community.”

And even though Pope Francis is scheduled to meet Brazilian President Dilma Roussef on more than one occasion, on Friday, July 26th, he will also presumably meet with other Latin American presidents who were invited by President Roussef.

The Argentinian Pope also added a personal touch, by adding a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, in light of his profound devotion to Our Lady.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDIVatican Spokesperson“The Pope wanted to visit Our Lady of Aparecida to say a special prayer for WYD, for all the youths he will meet, but also for his own pontificate. It?s some kind of consecration, with which he entrusts himself to Our Lady.”

Another slight change will be seen, in the ;papal plane. The Vatican has announced that an in flight press conference will not ;take place. Instead, the Pope will personally meet and greet all ;the journalists, one by one.