The Latest: Slum Dwellers Complain of Being Far From Pope

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


12:00 a.m.

Since Pope Francis arrived in Paraguay there have been complaints that the popemobile has moved too fast for people to get a good look at the pontiff.

There were also complaints about church authorities only permitting five people to ask questions of the pope Saturday evening.

Now, residents of the Banado Norte slum are sounding off.

Neighborhood association President Francisco Rodriguez says his wife and a neighbor were not invited to sit with the pope despite being co-founders of the chapel where the gathering was held.

Rodriguez also said the two young people who described teenage pregnancy issues with the pope at the meeting were outsiders, just like some politicians who attended like Education Minister Marta Lafuente.

When Lafuente walked onto the stage people heckled her in Guarani, shouting "Lying Minister."


11:05 a.m.

At the outdoor Mass in Asuncion, a young lector asked the faithful to pray for Paraguay's indigenous, for the poor and others.

He also asked them to pray for a police officer who was kidnapped a year ago by leftist rebels of the EPP, or People's Paraguayan Army.

The pope made reference to abducted officer Edelio Morinigo on Saturday evening at a meeting with civil society groups. But he didn't seem to have matters clear, mentioning someone "kidnapped by the army."

At a news conference later, Paraguayan Catholic Church spokesman Mariano Mercado referred to the rebels as "criminals."

The shadowy EPP as among the world's most hermetic guerrilla movements. It has operated since 2008 in the country's north, where it has attacked police posts, soldiers and ranches. It is blamed for at least 40 killings.


10:45 a.m.

While Pope Francis was telling people at a Mass six miles away to open their hearts to "the hungry, the infirm, the prisoners, lepers and the disabled" Pedro Fernandez was back at work picking up other people's trash.

The father of eight was presente for the pope's visit earlier Sunday to Banado Norte, the slum by the Paraguay river that frequently flods.

He told The Associated Press that the pope's visit may be good for the spirit, but he had to get out now and collect plastic bottles and cans on his motorcycle cart.

If I don't work, said Fernandez, the household doesn't eat.

He says his family is up at 3 a.m. looking for bottles and cans because he also has to pay on installments for the motorcycle cart. Until 2013, he used a horse.


10:20 a.m.

Pope Francis is celebrating the last Mass of his three-nation South America tour on a very special altar.

It was made in honor of Paraguay's native Guarani and out of respect for Mother Earth. It is composed of 40,000 ears of corn, 200,000 coconuts and adorned with 1,000 squash gourds.

The altar was created by the artist Koki Ruiz, who also included an image of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the natural world and the pope's namesake.

Also pictured is St. Ignacio de Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order the pontiff belongs to.

Ruiz told The Associated Press last week that the corn, coconut and squash are subsistence products of Paraguay's native peoples.


9:44 a.m.

Hundreds of thousands have gathered on a huge swampy field called Nu Guazu (Nyew Gwa-ZOO) inside a military base awaiting the arrival of Pope Francis.

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