published Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Ships to guard Copacabana Beach for Pope Francis

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims as he makes his arrival at the Our Lady of Aparecida Basilica in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Pope Francis is on the third day of his trip to Brazil where he will attend the 2013 World Youth Day in Rio.
Pope Francis waves to pilgrims as he makes his arrival at the Our Lady of Aparecida Basilica in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Pope Francis is on the third day of his trip to Brazil where he will attend the 2013 World Youth Day in Rio.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s Defense Ministry says four navy ships will watch over Copacabana beach when Pope Francis takes part in a Way of the Cross procession.

The ships will cruise the length of the famed beach Friday checking boats near where Francis will take part in the procession with an expected 1 million faithful.

A ministry statement Wednesday says the security plan includes four other ships and 22 smaller boats to watch the beaches of Rio de Janeiro state during the pontiff’s visit.

Security during Francis’ visit has been a worry for Brazilian authorities because of his insistence on having contact with the faithful.

The pope’s motorcade was swarmed upon his arrival Monday. The security situation in Aparecida Wednesday was far more controlled, with chest-high barriers keeping people far from his car.

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