ROME— Pope Francis will check out Mexico Feb. 12-seventeen on a six-town tour that will span the place and emphasize issues of financial justice, migration, drug-relevant violence and the rights of indigenous peoples.
The Vatican introduced a comprehensive itinerary for the trip on Saturday, the feast day of Our Girl of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico and the Americas. Pope Francis marked the working day by celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. He will rejoice Mass at the Guadalupe shrine in Mexico City on Feb. 13.
Mexico, powering Brazil, has the world’s 2nd-biggest populace of baptized Catholics—109 million, or 92% of the population—according to the Vatican’s statistical yearbook for 2013.
During the vacation, Pope Francis will visit Ciudad Juárez, just throughout the U.S. border from El Paso, Texas, a most likely venue for him to talk about migration. The pope has produced migration 1 of his signature troubles and elevated it in a speech to the U.S. Congress in September.
As the excursion will consider area throughout the initial month of U.S. presidential primaries, his responses on migration could turn into fodder for what is currently a heated marketing campaign discussion, notably amid candidates for the Republican nomination.
Pope Francis had considered stopping in Mexico ahead of his September U.S. go to, with the intention of crossing the border in between the two international locations at Ciudad Juárez as a “sign of brotherhood and support for the immigrants” headed north.
But he said he eventually concluded that Mexico rated a full-fledged pay a visit to of its possess, such as a pilgrimage to the nationwide shrine. “To go to Mexico with out heading to Our Woman of Guadalupe would have been an insult,” Pope Francis told reporters in September.
Pope Benedict XVI, who experienced a history of heart difficulties necessitating a pacemaker, did not include Mexico City in his 2012 go to to the place on the guidance of doctors, since of the city’s altitude, which is 7,four hundred toes above sea stage. Pope Francis, who will flip 79 on Dec. seventeen, misplaced part of one of his lungs to illness as a younger male, but in July he briefly frequented La Paz, Bolivia, whose airport sits at thirteen,three hundred feet.
In Mexico Metropolis, Pope Francis will fulfill with President Enrique Peña Nieto, deal with federal government officials and the country’s Catholic bishops, and pay a visit to a children’s healthcare facility. He will also rejoice an out of doors Mass in the city’s functioning-class suburb of Ecatepec on Feb. 14.
The pope will spend Feb. 15 in the southern condition of Chiapas, which sits along the border with Guatemala, and has a large indigenous populace. In 1994, Mayan villagers there launched a short-lived but bloody revolt towards the authorities.
The region has been a sizzling-place of Catholic remaining-wing liberation theology and of individuals advocating to enable Catholic clergymen to marry, equally movements that Pope Francis has handled considerably a lot more favorably than his predecessors.
But Chiapas is also a center for Mexico’s growing inhabitants of Evangelical Protestants, who largely oppose the insurance policies of liberation theology. Protestant churches accounted for an approximated eight% of Mexico’s populace in 2010, according to the CIA Entire world Factbook.
Each Ciudad Juárez and the city of Morelia, which the pope will visit on Feb. 16, have been strike difficult in modern years by drug-relevant violence, a topic on which the pope has spoken out a lot more than once.
In November 2014, he deplored the fatalities of forty three students apparently killed by drug traffickers in southwest Mexico. And in February, he warned in a personal e mail from the growing “Mexicanization” of his native Argentina by drug traffickers.
A Vatican spokesman later on stated the “pope did not indicate to harm the thoughts of the Mexican folks, nor did he intend to reduce the endeavours of the Mexican government” in opposition to the drug trade.
This will be Pope Francis’ 12th journey outdoors of Italy as pope, and his fourth to Latin The us. The 1st Latin American pope traveled to Brazil in 2013. He manufactured a a few-country tour of Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay in July, and frequented Cuba on his way to the U.S. in September.
Saint John Paul II visited Mexico 5 instances in the course of his 26-12 months pontificate. Pope Benedict frequented as soon as, in 2012.