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Papal Expert: Visit To Brazil Reinforces Pope's Message Of Serving Poor, Marginalized

By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A veteran Vatican journalist says the Brazilian visit by Pope Francis served to re-enforce a message he's been trumpeting since his March election.

Philadelphia-based papal expert Rocco Palmo says Pope Francis did World Youth Day his way, spreading a message of outreach to those who believe they've been left behind.

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"The poor, the marginalized in whatever state be it spiritually, physically, materially. He's talked a lot about the elderly in saying that the elderly can't be forgotten and that when the elderly are forgotten a cultural euthanasia takes place."

And, Palmo says, the pope sent the millions of young people who gathered in Brazil last week out as disciples to spread the message.

"In some reports, it's mistranslated. But he said, 'I want you to make noise, and not just noise, but essentially shake up the life of the church when you go home.' Whatever the pope says it's not just to one group, it goes to the whole church. 'I want you to disrupt the life of the church.'"

He says the pope told the clergy to leave the comfort zones of their churches and offices and actually go out into neighborhoods and communities to help those in need.

Palmo says the pope's words and actions weren't just for the church in Latin America, but meant as a new mission and to serve as an example for the entire Roman Catholic Church.

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