The Argentine pontiff visits Latin America to champion the poor and the environment. Sean Carberry reports.
STORY: Call it a sort of homecoming for the Argentine pontiff. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "I thank God for having allowed me to return to Latin America and to be here with you today in this beautiful land of Ecuador," In recent weeks, the scene hasn't been so beautiful with thousands taking to the streets to protest against tax changes and alleged state authoritarianism. Pope Francis said the Catholic Church will always help those most in need. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "Giving special attention to our more fragile brothers and the more vulnerable minorities which are a debt all of Latin America has. For this Mr. President you may always count with the Church to serve the Ecuadorian people." Protesters called for a moratorium on demonstrations during the Pope's visit. The Pope's South American tour will take him to Bolivia and Paraguay, countries with some of the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere, and with some of the most extraordinary and vulnerable habitats. In his encyclical last month, the Pope demanded swift action to save the planet from ruin and urged leaders to hear "the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor," whom he said were most affected by climate change.