Favela Priests Await Their Slum Pope

Father Luiz Antônio Pereira Lopes, who heads Pastoral das Favelas, a sparsely funded group that focuses on the slums, will accompany Pope Francis to a favela where the priest’s group has a chapel. The pope will address community residents there in a soccer field.

In a country crucial to the future of the Church, the poor communities where Father Lopes works are both the strongest symbol of Catholicism’s decline—and perhaps its greatest opportunity for growth.

“Pope Francis can change things not only here but all the favelas of Rio,” Father Lopes said. “His presence will make those priests who aren’t thinking of the poor, start to think of them.”

Read more, and see my video, here: Pope’s Memo From Rio: Serve the Poor