Analysis

LIGNET Exclusive: Pope Battles Vatican Bureaucracy
Pope Francis blesses a boy as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil's most revered Catholic shrine, in Sao Paulo state on July 24.The first Latin American and Jesuit pontiff arrived in the country Monday for a weeklong visit including World Youth Day. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
July 29, 2013
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| Europe
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When Pope Francis returns to Rome on Monday, he will face a starkly different landscape than the one he left in Brazil. The pope's recent visit to Rio de Janeiro underscores how wildly popular he is among the faithful, especially the youth of the church. Some 2.5 million people turned out for the pope's visit, and more than 1 million young people from around the world made plans to attend a Catholic youth festival in Brazil during his stay.
The pope’s popularity is not echoed within the walls of the Vatican, however, according to a church source closely connected to Vatican politics. This source, a supporter of Francis, says the pontiff remains unpopular with the Roman Curia, the central governing bureaucracy of the church.
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