Pope makes unscheduled stops in Paraguay
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is currently in Paraguay’s capital Asunciòn on the last day of his three country Apostolic journey to Latin America which has also taken him to Ecuador and Bolivia. Linda Bordoni is in this nation’s capital and keeps us updated on the less formal and unscheduled activities our Pope of surprises has accustomed us to.
Listen to Linda Bordoni’s report from Asunciòn:
One of the many reasons for which we love Pope Francis is his tendency to disregard protocol and find time and ways to bend and modify his official schedule for things and people he cares about.
He’s been doing it here in Paraguay as well!
His first stop on Friday, after landing at Asuncion Airport was a brief – unscheduled – visit to the “Buen Pastor” women’s prison where inmates sang for him in an outside courtyard.
On Saturday he made changes to his schedule as well, deciding to include an afternoon visit to the “Saint Rafael Foundation”, which cares for poor patients with AIDS and cancer, has a rehabilitation clinic, three centers for abandoned and abused children and homes for the elderly.
It is run by Fr. Aldo Trento who met the Pope recently during an audience in Rome, inviting him on that occasion to stop by when in Asuncion.
And although it certainly isn’t on the official Papal programme, most people here are pretty sure he will take time on Sunday before his departure to pray and reflect in front of the macabre shell of the devastated Ycua Bolaños supermarket in central Asuncion.
It’s where 430 people burnt to death and many others were injured in 2004 when fire broke out and the store’s owners issued orders to lock the doors to prevent looting.
The tragedy has left a deep wound in Paraguayan society where anger over the event continues to run high as families of the victims and the population at large believe that a drawn-out judicial process has let culprits off with too light a jail sentence.
In Asuncion with Pope Francis, I’m Linda Bordoni