Photo: Pope Coming to Mexico & Cuba, Spring 2012
Replying to questions raised by journalists, Holy See Press Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. has announced that Benedict XVI is studying the possibility of travelling to Cuba and Mexico in the spring of 2012
“In recent days”, Fr. Lombardi said, “the nuncios in Mexico and Cuba have been instructed to inform the highest civil and religious authorities that the Pope is examining concrete plans to visit those States, in response to invitations he has received”.
The plans will be finalized over coming weeks, when “the Pope will take his final decision. The trip is due to take place in spring 2012.
“It is well known that expectations among people in Mexico are high”, said Fr. Lombardi, explaining the reasons for the trip. “The Pope is aware of this and is happy to be able to respond. He has been to Brazil but the Spanish speaking countries of Latin America, of which Mexico has the largest population, wished for a visit of their own”.
“Cuba also has great desire to see the Pope, having never forgotten the historic visit of John Paul II. The Church and the people are experiencing a particularly important moment in their history, and the Pope’s visit will be a great encouragement, particularly in view of the fourth centenary of the discovery of the image of ‘Nuestra Senora de la Caridad del Cobre’”.
“It is sufficient to glance at a map to see that Mexico and Cuba lie in the same direction with respect to Rome, therefore it would seem more logical to visit these two countries in a single, though necessarily long, journey. Any trip would not have many stages, but just a few of great symbolic and pastoral importance. Another factor to be taken into account is that of the altitude, which would make it unadvisable for the Holy Father to visit Mexico City. One of the questions to be examined immediately, then, is that of better alternatives.