Pope Benedict invited Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City to celebrate Mass on the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe and to honor the bicentennial independence of Latin America.
“Celebrating Holy Mary of Guadalupe on her feast day is like saying to the entire continent: remember her, remember the Church, who was with you during the process of independence,” Cardinal Rivera told Mexico City's archdiocesan paper Desde la fe.
The cardinal said he interprets the Mass invitation as a gesture of closeness from the Pope, and said “I am happy that he is thinking of Mexico.”
He will be joined by two additional Latin American cardinals at the Vatican to celebrate the feast day on Dec. 12 with Pope Benedict.
Cardinal Rivera observed that the Pope has not only recognized the patronage of Mary in the countries of Latin America but also the influence the Church had on their struggles for independence.
“We always have dependencies, we free ourselves from some and fall prey to others, sometimes economic, sometimes ideological, but we always need the Church to be present to motivate and accompany the nation, that it might gain independence in a wider sense,” he said.