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AP PHOTOS: Pope observes Via Crucis on Copacabana


Pope Francis started off Friday by hearing confessions from a half-dozen young pilgrims in a Rio de Janeiro park and met privately with a group of juvenile detainees, a priority of his ever since his days as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

A white tent was set up to receive the faithful for confession, with small makeshift confessionals off to the side. Five youths, chosen through a raffle, were selected for confession, a sacrament in which Catholics confess their sins and are forgiven.

The pontiff then praised the elderly during the Catholic Church's festival of youth, saying grandparents are critical for passing on wisdom and religious heritage and are a "treasure to be preserved and strengthened."

Francis ended the day by presiding over one of the church's most solemn rites, a procession re-enacting Christ's crucifixion that was held on Rio's Copacabana beach.

Copacabana, which hosts Carnival and Rolling Stones concerts, staged a wildly theatrical, and very Latin telling of the Way of the Cross, complete with huge stage sets, complex lighting, a full orchestra and a cast of hundreds acting out a modern version of the biblical story.

Here's a gallery of images from the fifth day of the pope' visit to Brazil.

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AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo


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