'Slum Pope' Tells Slum Residents Not to Lose Hope

Posted at: 07/25/2013 10:55 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Pope Francis is bringing a message of hope to residents of one of Rio de Janeiro's slums, telling them not to be discouraged even in the face of corruption by their leaders.

It was a clear reference to the violent protests that paralyzed parts of Brazil in recent weeks by residents furious over rampant corruption and inefficiency within Brazil's political class.

In a speech Thursday to residents of the Varghina shantytown, Francis blasted the "culture of selfishness and individualism" that persists in the world and encouraged efforts in Brazil to end hunger and poverty.

Speaking of corruption, he said: "Never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished. Situations can change, people can change."

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