Despite the pope is Argentine and on Monday he will be making his first pastoral trip overseas to Brazil, Argentine government strict currency controls are making it difficult for prospective pilgrims to travel. An estimated 60.000 Argentines are expected to travel to Rio do Janeiro for the grand event.
Thousands of young people, many of modest economic means, plan to travel to Rio for the Catholic Church's World Day of Youth to greet the Argentine native on his first trip abroad as head of the Church when he arrives on Monday.
But restrictions on exchanging Pesos for Brazilian Reais have complicated their plans.
The government isn't being reasonable, Buenos Aires-based Bishop Raúl Martín told the local media. Obviously many Argentines were going to go to Brazil for this.
Bishop Martín said some 18,000 youth have officially registered for the event in Rio, where many will sleep in schools sponsored by religious organizations and do mission work.
Local media estimates some 42,000 Argentines will attend.
Before travelling abroad, Argentines must apply for permission to exchange Pesos with tax regulators. They are asked details of their travel plans and must present documents, including details of their salaries, to authorities.
The problem is that many travelling to the World Day of Youth are too young to work, said Martín, and are being denied Reais because they have no proof of salary.
Taking money out of an ATM machine with a credit card, previously the option of last resort is no longer feasible in Brazil as Argentine withdrawals are restricted in countries that share a border with Argentina.
President Cristina Fernandez slapped new controls on foreign currency purchases just after winning re-election in October 2011, to try to stop capital outflows. Her unorthodox economic policies have led to uncertainty and significant capital flight.
Difficulty exchanging money has pushed many Argentines to the black market in search of dollars, and currency vendors line the streets of major cities whispering change to passing pedestrians.
Church leaders, however, do not want to encourage illegal activity and are simply requesting information from the government on how young people can legally obtain a limited amount of Brazilian currency, Martín said.
A spokesman for Argentina's central bank said existing regulations allow religious institutions to exchange money directly with the bank, though individuals travelling to see the pope on their own must apply with tax regulators as usual.