The Latest: Paraguayans Say the Popemobile Went by Too Fast

Here are the latest developments from Pope Francis' trip to South America:


10:20 p.m.

Some Paraguayans are complaining that the driver of the popemobile had a heavy foot.

Comments are circulating on social media that the popemobile went too fast, leaving Paraguayans who had waited for hours on Asuncion streets to see Pope Francis only a fleeting glimpse of the pontiff as he sped by.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the vehicle traveled at that speed because they did not want a repeat of the delays seen in Ecuador and Bolivia, and that the Asuncion's airport was a greater distance from the presidential palace than in other cities.

9:50 p.m.

Pope Francis has received from Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes a national soccer team jersey with the name "Papa Francisco" and a white wool manta woven in the region where Jesuit missionaries worked in the South American country during the colonial era.

"Gifts without problems," said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi with a smile.

Lombardi's comment was a joking reference to the "Communist crucifix," with a carved hammer and sickle, the pope received from Bolivian President Evo Morales. That gift clearly surprised the pope and led to raised eyebrows, though Bolivian officials denied the gift was a political maneuver. It had been designed by a Jesuit activist.


7:10 p.m.

In his opening remarks in Paraguay, Pope Francis is giving special praise to Paraguayan women.

Francis met with President Horacio Cartes in the presidential palace and expressed his "profound admiration for the role played by the women of Paraguay in those dramatic historical moments. As mothers, wives and widows, they shouldered the heaviest burdens."

Francis is referring to a war in the 1860s against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. During the War of the Triple Alliance, an estimated 60 percent of the country's population was wiped out. Those losses included the vast majority of men, who had gone off to fight, leaving women to move Paraguay forward.

When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, the Rev. Jorge Bergoglio, as he was known then, often spoke about his admiration for Paraguayan women.


7:05 p.m.

A lot of tears flowed among the inmates at the Buen Pastor women's prison where Pope Francis made a brief stop to hear its choir.

The 50 women who serenaded the pope with a specially prepared song broke into tears when the people blessed them.

The women inmates stuck inside, however, cried for a different reason — out of frustration. Prison director Ana Coronel told The Associated Press that they had hoped the pope would enter the former convent and visit with them.

She said she told them afterward that the archbishop's office had never responded to her request that the pope go inside.


6:45 p.m.

Pope Francis' apology for the "grave sins" the Catholic Church committed against indigenous peoples in the Americas during the European conquest has been well-received by many native peoples across the continent.

But for Mayan activist Andrea Ixchiu in Guatemala it is pure marketing for the church, coming so many years after the fact. She thinks it's meant to prevent Catholics from leaving the faith in favor of Protestant evangelical sects.

Ixchiu says the church should return to native peoples land it took from them.


5:50 p.m.

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