There's a flurry of activity in Rio de Janeiro as the Brazilian capital prepares for the visit of Pope John Paul the Second later this month (June).
LV PAN: Bay and city of Rio de Janeiro
GV PAN: Surf ride TO people on Copacabana beach. (2 shots)
GV AND SV: Workers constructing platform above beach. (2 shots)
GV PAN: Shanty near Rio (2 shots)
GV ZOOM INTO SCU Children in hut doorway
GVs: Adults and children in streets. (2 shots)
GV: Children along cement pathway which Pope scheduled to tread
GV AND ZOOM OUT TO GV: Man with walkie-talkie directing work at scaffolding around Christ status TILT UP statue
SVs: Workers on scaffolding (2 shots)
GV: Statue from rear and front view PAN TO bay and city below (2 shots)
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Background: There's a flurry of activity in Rio de Janeiro as the Brazilian capital prepares for the visit of Pope John Paul the Second later this month (June). Workmen are tidying up two sites in Rio where the Pope is scheduled to perform the Mass. The Roman Catholic Church in financing improvements at the shanty town -- or favela -- of Vidigal on the southern shoreline of the city, which the Pope will visit.
SYNOPSIS: For all the squalor of its favelas, Rio has a voluptuous image as a playground for well-to-do tourists, especially from the United States. On paper, Brazil has the world's largest population of Roman Catholics. A census taken some years ago said that ninety-one percent of Brazilians belonged to the church of Rome. The country's population today is an estimated one hundred and ten million. Almost a century ago, the connection between Church and State was severed. Pope John Paul said recently the Church in Brazil should keep out of politics. He's expected to reaffirm this view during his visit, perhaps when speaking from this platform being built near the shore.
This is the favela of vidigal, where the Pope's presence will be a glittering intrusion into the bleakness of the resident's lives. Voluntary workers are helping to give it some kind of face-lift. A new shrine is going up, and drainage channels being dug. Despite government opposition, the church in Brazil is challenging the expansion of large estates, and backing workers and trade unions in strikes.
Children of the favela scamper along a pathway already cemented to ease progress of the Papal entourage through the shanties.
Instructions are passed on to workers swarming around scaffolding that encases the feature that dominates Rio's skyline -- the famed statue of Christ with arms outstretched. The statue has been closed to the public as it receives the first cleaning since it was built forty-nine years ago.
Pope John Paul will find a country where tension between church and state is said to be increasing. The split centres around the church's support for peasants against large landowners backed by the government. Church progressives believe the Vatican should openly approve social and land reforms in Brazil.