TODAY   |  July 27, 2013

Brazilians shower pope with affection in Rio

NBC’s Ann Thompson says Pope Francis, dubbed “the people’s pope,” is seeing the kind of warm reception in Rio de Janeiro that a leader of the Catholic Church has not seen in decades.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> pope francis continues his trip in brazil. he was welcomed by a massive crowd. anne thompson is in rio with more. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, jenna. pope francis is seeing the kind of reception here in rio that the leader of the catholic church has not seen in decades. pope francis himself is reaching out to the people. when you see him here in rio , there's not a picture he won't take, a baby he won't kiss. he accepts all the gifts given to him. it is extraordinary. in return, the people are showering him with affection. last night, as he made his way to the stage people stood ten deep here just to get a glimpse of him. at times, the pope mobile looked like a moving basketball hoop. people were throwing t-shirts and flags at him. his security detail has gotten a lot of gray hair on this trip because of the outreach. this reinforces the message he wants a church closer to the people and a church that embraces those in society. we have seen him meet with drug addicts and young criminal offenders. he took a walk through one of rio 's most dangerous neighborhoods. the other interesting thing is last night he talked about the sex abuse scandal saying those who left the church because of the actions of the clergy, jesus stands with them. francis will leave rio known as p the people's pope. jenna?

>> thank you very much.