.- A local archbishop encouraged Catholics in Mexico as they prepare to welcome Pope Benedict for his March 23-25 visit to the country to not compare him to Blessed John Paul II.
In an interview with CNN Mexico, Archbishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago of Leon said “All of the Popes are equal and deserve our respect and adherence, regardless of whatever their personal charism might be.”
“I think we need to say this to everyone, so that they don’t expect to see Pope Benedict as a repeat, or crudely put, as a clone of Pope John Paul II,” he said.
The archbishop expressed his hope, however, that just as with the apostolic visits of Blessed John Paul II, Pope Benedict's trip would also inspire many vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.
Archbishop Rabago said the papal trip is an honor for the state of Guanajuato, which “together with Aguascalientes and Jalisco, has the highest percentage of Catholics in Mexico, with nearly 94 percent.”
He called the pontiff's visit “a reward” as well as “an acknowledgment of the fidelity of this people to the Catholic Church.”