Pope John Paul II arrived in Brazil on Monday (30 June) at the start of a twelve-day tour of the world's most popular Roman Catholic country.
GV: Pope's plane taxiing into airport
SV: Mass press waiting arrival
SV: Pope disembarks from the plane onto red carpet, kisses the ground and then greeted by Brazilian President Joao Baptista Figueiredo and other officials.
SV: Press photographers
SV PULL OUT TO GV: Pope and President walking along tarmac on a red carpet
TRACKING SHOTS: Waving crowds lining the streets Pope's motorcade passes (3 shots)
GTV: Massed crowd in Brazilia city centre
SV: Pope arriving and waving to jubilant crowd press being bundled away by security guards
GV: Pope speaking (Holding mass) PAN TO President and wife following scripts during ceremony
GV PAN: From Pope speaking to mass crowds
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Background: Pope John Paul II arrived in Brazil on Monday (30 June) at the start of a twelve-day tour of the world's most popular Roman Catholic country. Since his selection in October 1978, the Pope has visited thirteen countries but his stay in Brazil will be the longest of his pontificate.
SYNOPSIS: After a twelve-hour flight from Rome the Pope's aircraft touched down at a military airport outside Brasilia.
President Joao Figueiredo greeted the Pontiff while a twenty-one gun salute was fired in welcome. On Friday (27 June) President Figueiredo decreed a pardon for all common criminal serving sentences or less than four years to mark the Pope's visit. To the Vatican, Brazil is one of the most important countries in the Catholic World with ninety-eight million of its 117 million population officially said to be Catholic. However only one-quarter or less go to church and many Brazilians follow spiritualist cults originating from Africa. Church officials have stressed the pastoral nature of Pope John Paul's visit but the careful attention will be given to human rights and the progressive attitude of Brazilian bishops, the strongest opposition force against Brazil's conservative, military-led government. The Pope believes priests should stay out of politics but on Monday (30 June) he told reporters it was difficult to draw a line between a priest's spiritual work and political activity.
Hundreds of thousands of people lined the route from the airport to the city. Police posts and emergency hospital tents were set up by men from the armed forces.
The Pope held his first mass in Brazil outside Brasilia's modernistic underground Cathedral, shaped like a crown of thorns. The city's fifteen Roman Catholic churches has been ringing their bells in jubilation since dawn, while loudspeakers relayed sacred music.
In his sermon Pope John Paul called for action to help living in slums and rural hovels. He said the Brazilian people had rights to life, security, religious liberty, and he praised efforts to promote democratic rights.
On Monday (30 June) evening the Pontiff held talks with Brazilian President followed by informal conversations with Brazilian Bishops.