Written by Staff Writer
06 Feb, 2016 | 6:27 am
Final preparations are underway in Mexico City on Friday (February 05) for Pope Francis’s visit to the country, with many faithful hoping the pontiff’s words of hope will spur change in the drug-ravaged country.
During his five-day visit starting on February 12, the Pope will walk through the Holy door of Mexico City’s Cathedral, built upon the ruins of the former Aztec of Tenochtitlan.
The Pope will walk through the Cathedral’s holy door where he will give a special message to Mexican bishops after greeting thousands of faithful in Zocalo square.
Raul Vera, bishop for the Saltillo archdiocese, is in Mexico City ahead of the visit. He told media the pontiff will touch on moral issues affecting the world during his stay in Mexico.
“The Pope is speaking very clearly. He will be touching on moral points of social organisation in the world, the social organisation of countries. The Pope has a very good vision. The Latin American anthology is very clear so I will not say what the Pope needs to say. I just want to tell you that the Pope will touch on moral points,” he said.
Pope Francis has chosen an unlikely itinerary for his Mexico visit. He will lead mass with the indigenous community in Mexico’s poorest state Chiapas, speak with young people in Morelia, capital of violence-wracked Michoacan state, and end with a large Mass in border town Ciudad Juarez, which once had one of the world’s highest murder rates.
Mexico City local, Jesica Garcia, said the Pope was coming into the country with an open mind for the church.
“I think it’s something very good. I think if he comes with a more open mind. Hopefully people will listen, that he speaks to politicians, to who has the power for change. I think he’s one of the most open popes and hopefully he brings solutions, or a change for Mexico,” she said.
The Pope is scheduled to give mass at Mexico City’s Guadalupe Basilica, the country’s holiest site, where he is expected to call for peace and an end to violence in Mexico.
But local Yolando Amaro does not think the pontiff’s words will make a difference.
“I don’t think he will resolve a lot because if they’re fighting, and killing they’re not Catholics because they are not familiar with the religion and that it’s a sin,” she said.
The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics also plans to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and other officials to discuss issues including the environment, security, protection for migrants, human rights and the fight against poverty, according to Mexico’s foreign ministry.
The trip will be Pope Francis’s fourth visit to Latin America, including his stop in Cuba this past September.
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