Nightly News   |  July 22, 2013

Raucous welcome in Brazil as Pope Francis arrives

Pope Francis’ motorcade was mobbed by excited crowds as he made his way through the streets of Rio, but Francis seemed to revel in the chaos – even stopping to kiss a baby. NBC’s Anne Thompson reports.

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>>> another big story we are following tonight, the visit of pope francis to brazil. his first overseas trip as pope. there were security concerns before this trip for the pope who likes to get there within the crowds and moments after the touch down, security fears were realized during a wild, and at times, down right hazardous trip through the straights of rio . nbc's anne thompson is traveling with the pope spoke with him on the plane en route to brazil. she is with us from rio tonight. hey, ape, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. pope francis is resting tonight after a 12-hour flight and what can only be described as a raucous welcome, beginning a week that will test brazilian security and put the global spotlight back on this nation's economic woes. they could not wait to touch him. brazilians rushing pope francis ' motorcade as he made his way through the streets of rio , his car mobbed, forced to a standstill several times by the excited crowd. the first latin-american pope wasted no time reaching out to the people, a potential security nightmare, rio officials said federal police changed the motorcade's route without informing city authorities bunch francis seemed to revel in the chaos, even stopping to kiss a baby. officials say this is the biggest police operation in the history of rio and today the mayor promised francis would be safe during his six-day stay.

>> he wants to be open to the people. now, that's risk. i think we love him for doing that but at the same time, we worry about him.

>> reporter: as cardinal of argentina, francis made this transatlantic trip many times. speaking to reporters on the plane, the pope talked about the crisis of youth unemployment, saying we are at risk of having a generation that does not work. we are used to a throw-away culture, he warned. we do it with the aged. and now the pope said we are doing it with the young. brazil is a nation raw with economic tension but the pope did not address these problems directly. he took no questions from reporters, but he did greet each journalist personally. i told him there was great excitement in the u.s. about his papacy. the pope laughed and said thank you and then said, pray for me. and blessed the med dal yin i wore. now, authorities announced they discovered a homemade pipe bomb at the shrine complex nearby. and that is where the pope will go to visit on wednesday. authorities say they detonated the bomb and at this hour, no arrests have been made in connection with that pipe bomb . brian?

>> anne thompson ? rio as we start off coverage of this trip after let's just say an eventful trip getting there. anne, thanks for that