December 11, 2013
Dilma meets Pope Francis, renews invitation of Rio's World Youth Day
In the second meeting Pope Francis holds with a head of state, the pontiff received Brazilian President Dilma Roussef. After a 30-minute meeting, the South American leader affirmed the pontiff is “excited” about the possibility of visiting Brazil.
Prior to the official meeting at the private library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, Rousseff told reporters in the Vatican that the Pope’s eventual visit to Rio de Janeiro on June 23-28 marking the 2013 World Youth Day will be the “greatest event” Francis would attend to. “A multitude of Catholics is expected. “We will receive in the best way, as usual,” the leader of Brazil -home of 123 million Catholics-, affirmed.
“This is a Pope that speaks to the weakest, to the youth, to the elderly and to those who need help. I think he is a pontiff who has the capacity to be moved, that will dedicate (himself) to the poor and he has said that that is his main goal. It is a reason for us Brazilians and for all Latin America to be proud of, but above all it is good for the whole world,” the president stated.
Traditional but friendly rivalry between Argentineans and Braizilians also came to the fore at the Vatican when Dilma Rousseff joked about the nationality of the newly elected pope. “I consider you (Argentineans) have a lot of luck, you have a great pope. Argentina deserves to be congratulated (for it), but we always say that if the Pope is Argentine, God is Brazilian,” Rousseff told an Argentine reporter covering the Vatican’s historic events.