The bishops of Cuba indicated as much during a press conference last week, but now it is official: Pope Benedict will travel to Latin America—specifically Mexico and Cuba—before Easter of next year.
From CNS’ story on the announcement, which was made on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas:
During his homily at the Mass Dec. 12 in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope prayed that God would guide the decisions of the Latin American people, so they could progress in “building a society based on the development of good, the triumph of love and the expansion of justice.”
Pope Benedict added that he intends “to make an apostolic trip to Mexico and Cuba before Easter to proclaim the word of Christ and to strengthen the conviction that this is a precious time to evangelize with a steady faith, a lively hope and an ardent charity.”
Various Spanish language news outlets have reported the trip will take place between March 23 and March 29.
In addition to marking the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, the pope’s Mass marked the bicentennials of many Latin American countries, which gained their independence from Spain between 1810 and 1825.
The pope said he could not let the anniversaries pass without demonstrating “the joy of the church for the many gifts which God, in his infinite goodness, has bestowed on these beloved nations throughout these years.”
Read the whole CNS report here.
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