Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pope Benedict in Brazil


Pope Benedict XVI descends from a plane after arriving to the air base in Sao Paulo, Wednesday, May 9, 2007, in his first trip as pontiff to Latin America. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

~from AP via Houston Chronicle

Pope Benedict XVI landed in Brazil Wednesday on his first Latin America trip as pontiff, determined to lay down church law on abortion and answer a "thirst for God" in the region.

Arriving at Sao Paulo's international airport, Benedict greeted Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and gave a speech in an airplane hanger before heading to a monastery where he'll stay during his five-day visit.

"I extend my greetings to all the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean in the words of the Apostle: 'Peace to all of you who are in Christ,'" Benedict said, speaking in Portuguese.

Hundreds of faithful waiting in the cold rain for a glimpse of Benedict Wednesday seemed not to care about the major challenges the Vatican says he hopes to confront during his visit, such as the church's declining influence in Brazil, the rise of evangelicism, or his inflight comments about politicians who legalized abortion in Mexico City.

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