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Pope confirms he will attend Catholic youth fest in Brazil

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Pope Francis on Wednesday confirmed that he would attend a Catholic youth festival in Rio in July, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said after meeting the Argentine pontiff at the Vatican.

The newly-inaugurated pontiff "said he expects a large presence of young people" at World Youth Day due to take place July 23-28, she told Brazilian reporters after the 30-minute meeting.

Organizers expect two million young faithful to flock to Rio for the event.

It will be the second time the gathering is held in Latin America, after the Buenos Aires event in 1987.

Rousseff said the former Buenos Aires archbishop Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio also planned to visit the basilica of Our Lady Aparecida, Brazil's most prominent shrine, located in the southeastern state of Sao Paulo.

Aparecida was the venue for a Latin American Bishops Conference in 2007, attended by both Francis and his predecessor Benedict XVI.

Rousseff, quoted by the official Agencia Brasil, said she and the pontiff also discussed the fight against poverty and drugs.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130320/pope-confirms-he-will-attend-catholic-youth-fest-brazil