The Holy See has made a slight change to Pope Francis’ schedule during his Apostolic Visit to Ecuador in July.
The National Risk Secretariat of Ecuador warned of security problems, both serious and objective, in having an estimated 2 million people on the grounds of the Shrine of Divine Mercy. The Holy Father was originally scheduled to celebrate Mass in the area overlooking the shrine.
Following the security warnings, the Holy See was immediately notified. The local Church “thinking of the good of the faithful, who yearn to meet with their Shepherd”, suggested a change of venue to the Holy Father, according to a communique by the Bishops’ Conference of Ecuador.
The Holy See agreed to the changes, saying that the Pope will instead make a brief visit to the Shrine in the morning. He will then celebrate Mass in Los Samanes Park.
The Bishops’ Conference of Ecuador stated that the preparation of the Mass, as well as the organization of ushering the millions of pilgrims expected to attend will be handled by the Church. Civil authorities will collaborate with the local Church in organizing security, health and transportation.