The Vatican, Brazil and Albania
Owen Bennett Jones introduces personal reflections, insights and analysis from correspondents and writers around the world. Wyre Davies is prompted by Pope Francis's visit to remember an incident from his own youth in Brazil - but the shrine at Aparecida didn't inspire the same reverence in him as it did in the other pilgrims. As the Catholic Church loses ground and followers to evangelical churches in Latin America, can the new Pope halt its decline and bring new energy to its mission? Julia Langdon has spent years summering in Corfu - but until recently, could only wonder what was going on just over the sea waters in Albania. From the outside, it never looked or sounded too good, with murmurs of piracy, feuding and criminality - and the occasional burst of gunfire. But on a recent trip to the town of Saranda, she found a sort of improvised Riviera - complete with deckchairs, lush gardens and picturesque spots.