Nightly News   |  July 21, 2013

Pope Francis departs for World Youth Day

Pope Francis on Sunday left for his first international trip, heading to Brazil for World Youth Day where more than one million young people are expected to gather. The high cost of the trip to the Brazilian government has stoked fears that the event will be marked by protests. NBC’s Anne Thompson reports.

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>> pope francis is i can imagine his first trip abroad this week to brazil. ann thompson is traveling with the pope and has more.

>> on this beach are bra gillians and tourists worship the sun daily , this week the focus turned to god. this is the back drop for world youth day . a catholic carnival of sorted led by pope francis , the first pope from latin america . more than a million one pilgrims from 170 countries are expected to come hear the pope's call to rein guys the church. the largest u.s. held in brooklyn celebrating mass this morning before boarding the bus for the ten-hour flight. francis ' journey will take 13 hours. the pope's first overseas trip from st. peters is expected to cost $150 million, about a third of that will be paid for by brazil's government. vatican officials acknowledge it's a lot of money, but point out in pales when compared to the $13 billion brazil will spend on next year's world cup . that spending drug brazilians into the streets in recent weeks. angry the government is financing these things instead of health care . now they fear the government will use the papal visit to highlight their demands.

>> the same time he has to preach the gospel which is about concerns for the poor.

>> reporter: he will visit the home to 22% of the city's residents. here in the largest catholic country in the world, the church is losing members to the growing pent costal movement. today brazil is just two-thirds. its influence under siege, the catholic church seeks a revival. ann thompson, nbc news, rome.