Benedict XVI to Speak to Non-Believers in Portugal

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FATIMA, Portugal, JAN. 13, 2010 («>»> Meeting in Fatima on Tuesday, Portuguese bishops said that during Benedict XVI’s visit to Portugal this May 11-14, the Pope will speak to everyone, whether or not they are believers.

«The Pope will speak to all,» said Father Manuel Morujao, spokesman and secretary of the Portuguese episcopal conference. «[T]he Church does not close the door to anyone and opens her heart to all.»

During a press conference at the end of the meeting of the bishops’ Permanent Council, Father Morujao also said that at the council’s next meeting Feb. 9, a pastoral note on the Pope’s visit will be released.

The note «will bring benefits for the quality of life of the Church and of society,» he affirmed.

Benedict XVI’s decision to visit Portugal was announced last September and the program was made public in December. It includes stops in Lisbon, Fatima and Oporto.

The Bishop of Rome will be in Portugal both for a pilgrimage and an official visit. He was invited by the Portuguese episcopal conference and by the Portuguese government.

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