Latin America & Caribbean

Pope Francis leaves for Brazil visit

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPope Francis is embarking on his first foreign trip

Pope Francis has left Rome for Brazil for his first foreign trip, which will be taking place amid high security.

The pontiff will be greeted by some two million young people from all over the world at the Roman Catholic World Youth Day festival in Rio de Janeiro.

The first Latin American Pope will also celebrate Mass on the famous Copacabana beach and visit shanty towns.

Some 22,000 security staff will be on duty during the visit of the Pope, who is not using his armoured Popemobile.

On his way to Brazil, Pope Francis said the global crisis risked creating a lost generation of jobless youth.

"We run the risk of having a generation that hasn't worked," even though work confers dignity, he told journalists on the plane.

He also criticised what he said was a "culture" of socially rejecting the elderly who were "thrown away" as if they had nothing to offer.

Mask ban

Ahead of his week-long trip, the 76-year-old Pope from Argentina called on his followers to join him spiritually on his journey through prayer.

The pontiff is due to arrive in Brazil - the world's most populous Catholic country - later on Monday, and huge crowds are expected to greet him at Rio airport.

The Vatican says it has full confidence in the ability of Brazilian security forces to protect the pontiff during his visit.

However, Pope Francis's direct style of communication, his desire for close proximity with his flock and his frequent rejection of protocol are creating some worry among the organisers of the visit, the BBC's David Willey in Rome reports.

Image caption Tens of thousands of people from the Pope's native Argentina are expected to greet him in Rio

In Rio, the security forces have set up several monitoring centres to keep a close eye on the Pope's every step.

The pontiff will also be using army helicopters to avoid Rio's heavy traffic jams.

The Brazilian authorities earlier banned masks at Pope Francis's opening Mass at the World Youth Day.

They are worried that the visit could spark a repeat of June's unrest, when many wore masks in the crowds.

There were widespread anti-government protests last month during the football Confederations Cup. Many of the protesters were wearing Guy Fawkes masks, which have become a feature of demonstrations around the world.

The demonstrators have taken to the streets to complain about the state of public services such as transport, health and education and about what they perceive as the inefficiency of their politicians.

CLICKABLE

Guanabara Palace (22 July)

When Pope Francis arrives in Rio, he will attend a welcome ceremony in Guanabara Palace. Guests will include Brazillian President Dilma Rousseff.

Sumare Centre (22 July)

The catholic education institution will be the Pope's residence during his stay in Rio.

Our Lady of Aparecida Basilica (24 July)

The Pope travels to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in the city of Aparecida do Norte, the largest Marian pilgrimage centre in the world. He will celebrate a mass there and return to Rio on the same day.

St. Francis of Assisi Hospital (24 July)

As soon as he returns from Aparecida do Norte, the pontiff will inaugurate a special ward for the treatment of drug addicts, built with donations from the Vatican.

City Palace (25 July)

The Pope will be handed the keys to the city from mayor Eduardo Paes. Later, he will bless the Olympic flags for Rio 2016.

Varginha slum, Manguinhos (25 July)

Pope Francis visits the community living in the Varginha slum and will make a speech in a local football field.

Copacabana beach (25-26 July)

The Pope will greet the participants of the Church's World Youth Day on 25 July. The next day, they will join him in a Way of the Cross procession at the beach.

Quinta da Boa Vista (26 July)

The Pope receives the confession of five youngsters in a house that was used by Brazil's royal family members.

St. Joachim Archiepiscopal Palace (26 July)

The pontiff will meet young prisoners. After that, he will deliver the Angelus prayer and blessing from the palace balcony and meet youngsters from the organising committee of World Youth Day for lunch.

Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theatre (27 July)

Pope Francis meets politicians and local dignitaries.

Campus Fidei, Guaratiba (27-28 July)

The Pope will hold a vigil with the participants of World Youth Day on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning, Pope Francis will celebrate the final mass of the WYD 2013 and deliver the Angelus prayer and blessing once again.

Riocentro (28 July)

On his way to the airport, the pontiff stops in Riocentro, the largest convention centre in Latin America, to meet the WYD volunteers.

Galeao International Airport (28 July)

In his last engagement in Brazil, the pope will make a speech in a farewell ceremony at the airport.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites