'Pop-star' priest opens big new Brazil church

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Associated Press

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 2 at 10:04 PM

SAO PAULO (AP) — One of Brazil's most famous priests has inaugurated a massive new Roman Catholic church that will hold about 20,000 worshippers when complete.

A mass was celebrated Friday in Sao Paulo to inaugurate the Mother of God sanctuary. It's been in construction for more than six years, and it will take several more to finish.

Father Marcelo Rossi is the driving force behind the project. He's a Latin Grammy-nominated Christian music singer and author of best-selling books in Brazil.

He tells the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper the church isn't meant as an answer to the rapid spread of evangelical churches in Brazil. Instead, the diocese served by the church badly needed a bigger structure.

Brazil has more Catholics than any other nation.

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