$$ Pope Wades Into Social Issues in Brazil

Article ExcerptBY STACY MEICHTRY

RIO DE JANEIRO—Pope Francis decried the endemic corruption that feeds Latin America’s deep divide between rich and poor as he bored deeply into social issues, including illegal drug abuse, that have long plagued the region and which he seeks to place at the center of his papacy.

Against the backdrop of a crowded ghetto of self-built shacks on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis on Thursday addressed for the first time the social tensions that have fueled a wave of sometimes violent protests across Brazil.

In Rio for a church-organized spiritual event targeting young Catholics, the pontiff took …

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