Bishop Jose Luis del Palacio Perez-Medel of Callao in Peru said Pope Benedict's upcoming trips to Mexico and Cuba will emphasize his mission to evangelize formerly Christian societies.
The Pope will present the “truth that liberates man from slavery, suffering, illness and death,” Bishop Perez-Medel told CNA on Feb. 9.
Pope Benedict will travel to Mexico March 23-25 and Cuba from March 26-28.
The bishop noted that the visits will give the people of Latin American the chance to grow deeper in their Christian faith and to prepare for the Year of the Faith, which the Pope has decreed beginning October 2012 as part of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.
On his recent appointment in December of 2011 as a consultor to the new Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, Bishop Perez-Medel said the mission the bishops have is to bring the Gospel “to all the countries of ancient Christian tradition.”
“Today young people need to hear this, because many have lost the meaning of life, they commit suicide, they seek after happiness in money and things that cannot satisfy man. For this reason, the new dicastery presents the message of Christianity to the young people of our times,” he said.
He also stressed the need for a deeper knowledge of the gospel and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and for a renewed appreciation of “Sunday Mass, so that it may become a living faith that nourishes us the entire week.”
Bishop Perez-Medel invited that faithful to prepare for the Pope’s arrival by “opening their ears and embracing what he will tell us, just as Mary embraced the angel’s proclamation.” “The Pope will bring a word of salvation to rekindle in us the Risen Jesus Christ who lives,” he said.