Spanish Archbishop Julian Barrio of Santiago de Compostela stated this week that he is “very satisfied” with the preparations for Pope Benedict's upcoming visit to the city. He noted that it will likely be many years before a Pontiff returns to the region.
“It’s true that His Holiness John Paul II was in Santiago in 1982 during his apostolic visit to Spain and for World Youth Day in 1989,” he recalled during comments after meeting with officials organizing the visit.
However, he continued, this will be “the first time” that a Pope “expressly comes to participate in a Holy Year, as Benedict XVI will do.” “I hope there will be many more times, Lord willing, but it is likely that many years will pass before a Pope will be able to come to participate in an event like this,” the archbishop said.
Pope Benedict will visit Santiago de Compostela on Nov. 6.
The archbishop went on to say the Pope’s visit to Santiago during the Holy Year of St. James is of “great importance and transcendence, not only for the city, but for all of Galicia and Spain and the many people who will follow the broadcast on television and radio beyond the ocean.”
While Santiago has significance for Spain and Europe, the archbishop said, Pope Benedict XVI’s visit will highlight the city’s “universal dimension.”