PLEDGE NOW
Pope Francis In Brazil

Is this the pope of the poor? Can he help mend Brazil’s ragged edges?

Pope Francis rides in his popemobile in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday July 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Pope Francis rides in his popemobile in Rio de Janeiro on Monday. (Victor R. Caivano/AP)

They mobbed Pope Francis in Rio this week, as the first Latin American pope in history came to Brazil.

But the fact is the Catholic Church has been losing ground in Brazil for decades. Brazilians were 99 percent Catholic. But the latest number is 57 percent.

Francis comes as “the pope of the poor,” and his timing is good with that. Huge protests in Brazil in the last month over corruption and inequality, in spite of famous years of boom.

Can the pope pull it all together? Can Brazil?

This hour, On Point: The “pope of the poor,” a “must-win” country for Catholics and time of challenge for Brazil.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Philip Pullella, covers Italy and the Vatican for Reuters. (@PhilipPullella)

Andrew Chesnut, chair of Catholic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of World Studies and author of “Competitive Spirits: Latin America’s New Religious Economy” and “Born Again in Brazil: The Pentecostal Boom and the Pathogens of Poverty.” (@AndrewChestnut1)

Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Adjunct lecturer on Brazil in the global arena at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs and former Washington correspondent for O Estado de S.Paulo.

From Tom’s Reading List

KCUR: Brazil’s Evangelicals A Growing Force In Prayer, Politics: “Pope Francis arrives Monday evening in Rio de Janeiro for a weeklong visit celebrating World Youth Day. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics have made the pilgrimage to see the Argentine-born pontiff, and he is expected to receive a rapturous welcome. Still, Pope Francis’s visit comes at a delicate time for the church in Brazil. Catholicism — the nation’s main religion — is facing a huge challenge from evangelicals.”

The Washington Post: Pope Francis Tries To Bolster Church In Brazil: “With 200 million people, the vast majority of whom profess some faith, Brazil is a huge battleground for souls. It has one in 10 of all the world’s Catholics, making it enormously important to the Vatican. But for years now, Catholicism has been on the losing end of a pitched struggle with increasingly influential evangelical churches.”

The Guardian: Thousands On Streets In Brazil Protests: “Violence broke out in central Rio de Janeiro at rush hour following a march by trade unionists estimated at up to 20,000 people. The protest was part of a union-organised national day of action in which demonstrations were held and roads blocked in all 27 Brazilian states.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 31, 2015
A television photographer takes video of a memorial for the two slain journalist in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV7 in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday.  (AP)

Lessons from the Roanoke TV shootings. We’ll look at the way forward with the New York Times’ Nick Kristof and other top thinkers.

Aug 31, 2015
While the jury still deliberates, former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie, left, leaves the Merrimack Superior Court at the end of day with security in tow Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Concord, N.H.  Labrie was convicted by a jury of several misdemeanors, but ruled not guilty in the most serious felony sexual assault charges. (AP)

A verdict in the New Hampshire prep school rape trial. And calls for changing sexual assault laws.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

 
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments
 
Do You Recognize Amazon’s Workplace Culture? Tell Us!
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015

Do you recognize the workplace conditions described in a recent New York Times piece on Amazon? We want to hear from you!

More »
5 Comments