.- Pope Benedict will visit Mexico as a messenger of peace and hope “amid the state of insecurity, violence and drug trafficking” in the country, says a spokesman for the local bishops' conference.
Father Antonio Camacho Munoz, executive secretary for the Mexican bishops' communications committee, told CNA that the Pope is coming to encourage the faithful “to continue journeying, to have faith in Jesus that everything is going to be okay.”
The pontiff's March 23-25 trip will “confirm his brethren in the faith,” the priest added. “He is coming to support us, to encourage us and to tell us that he is with us, that we are not alone.”
Fr. Camacho said the bishops and priests of Mexico hope that Benedict XVI will breathe new life into the Great Continental Mission, and that his visit is not only for Mexico but for all the Americas.
“His desire is to visit a Spanish-speaking country that has a mature faith, tradition and a large presence” of Catholics, he noted. “By choosing Leon in Guanajuato, he also sees all the history, so that he can deliver a message from here not only to Mexico but to all of Latin America and the world.”
Fr. Camacho said that while the memory of Blessed John Paul II remains strong in the country, Mexicans know that “it is not so much the name that is important but the office of the Pope, as Vicar of Christ, who is coming to visit us.”
“Mexico knows how to welcome the Pope,” he said, adding that the extensive media coverage of the visit will help millions of viewers – unable to attend in person – follow the events on television, radio and the internet.
“The Church has taken a lead role, because the international signal during the Holy Father's entire stay will be managed by the Bishops’ Conference of Mexico,” he explained. “The international feed will be provided through Vatican Television and from there distributed to the entire world free of charge.”