Spanish bishops invite Pope Benedict to visit Spain in ‘06

.- During their fall assembly last week, the bishops of Spain issued a formal invitation to Pope Benedict XVI to visit Spain for the celebration of the V World Meeting of Families in Valencia, scheduled for July 2006, and for the V Centenary of the birth of St. Francis Xavier.

In a letter addressed to Benedict XVI and signed by the president of the Conference, Bishop Ricardo Blazquez of Bilbao, the bishops said the “much-appreciated presence of the Pope would be a very special confirmation of our churches in the faith and an incomparable encouragement for the work of the new evangelization in which they are engaged.”

Speaking in the name of the entire Conference, Bishop Blazquez said the World Meeting of Families “is, without a doubt, a privileged occasion for the evangelization of the family, which, although affected in our country by so many difficulties, continues to be the sanctuary of life and of hope and the privileged place where the faith is transmitted to new generations.”

“The V Centenary of the birth of St. Francis Xavier, Patron of the Missions, is an occasion for providing new impetus to the proclamation of Jesus Christ to all peoples,” the letter also points out.

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