In an interview with the Italian newspaper Avvenire, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, pointed out that Pope Benedict XVI would like to visit Africa in 2009, although his travel agenda for next year "has not yet been fixed."
After a report by the agency Apcom on June 21 that indicated that the Holy Father would visit Africa in 2009, Cardinal Bertone told the Italian newspaper that "The pope's travel agenda for 2009 has not yet been set. But it's true that this hypothesis is being worked on."
Cardinal Bertone also added that, "The Church in Africa deserves a trip by the Pope, who has already visited or is preparing to visit the other continents."
The specific African countries that the Pope will visit are not yet decided because "this is a very delicate choice, where the geopolitical balance should be considered along with the necessary safety requirements," the Secretary of State said.