Mexican bishops downplay rumors of papal visit

Mexican bishops downplay rumors of papal visit

.- The bishops of Mexico are downplaying media speculation about a possible visit to the country by Pope Benedict XVI in the coming months, saying the rumors are simply the result of “good will and intentions.”

Speaking to Notimex news agency, the Archdiocesan Sub-secretary for Radio and Television, Father Jose de Jesus Aguilar, said Mexicans should simply pray for a possible papal visit and not believe all the rumors.

Media speculation about a papal visit has focused on three possible motives for a papal visit to Mexico.  The Pontiff could travel to the country for the canonization of Blessed Rafael Guizar y Valenica, which is scheduled for October, he could make a stopover in Mexico on his way to Brazil in 2007 for the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American Bishops’ Council, or he could attend the Sixth World Meeting of Families, which will take place in 2009 in Mexico City.

Father Aguilar said any possible papal visit would depend on the Holy Father’s schedule, age and health.  He called on the faithful to pray for the Pontiff and that he might be able to visit the country soon, “without being carried away by gossip or rumors spread by people who are not responsible for providing that information.”

Regarding the possibility that the Pope would attend the World Meeting of Families in Mexico City, Father Aguilar said it was yet to be confirmed.  “It’s true that it has become tradition that the Pope attends these family meetings. This leads us to believe that Pope Benedict will have to be present and that meeting, but according to Vatican protocol, this needs to be confirmed.”

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