South America awaits with excitement the arrival of Pope Francis, the first Latin American Pontiff in history. And it seems that 2015 will be the year in which the desire of millions of Latin American faithful will become a reality.
In a recent interview with the Argentine newspaper La Nacion, the Pope himself confirmed that this year he will visit three Latin American countries, but he did not identify them or give a date.
In the wake of many rumors in recent months on the Pontiff’s possible trips, the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, announced on Sunday, to La Razon that Pope Francis will visit his country Bolivia in July of this year and that he is very much looking forward to visiting La Paz. Paraguay would be the first country of the Supreme Pontiff’s journey, followed by Bolivia and Ecuador.
“I have not met (with the Pope) but I have received this message: he will be there in July. He will go first to Paraguay, (then) to Bolivia and Ecuador,” he said. “However, I don’t know exactly how many days he will be in Bolivia,” said the President.
“[Pope Francis] said to me ‘ I want to visit La Paz, I want to visit La Paz,’ he repeated that two or three times (…) We are going to prepare (the reception) with the Catholic Church, and with the Social Movements, because the Pope wants to talk with the Social Movements, especially with the indigenous groups. We are going to organize it,” announced Morales to the newspaper.
The Bolivian President recalled that in his first visit to the Vatican, in September 2013, he invited the Holy Father. The proposal was further discussed in October 2014, when they met again in Rome during the World Meeting of Popular Movements.
The last visit to those countries by a Pontiff was in 1985, when St. John Paul II visited Ecuador, and 1988 when he visited Bolivia and Paraguay.