By David Agren, Catholic News Service
Mexico (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI will address the pressing issues of poverty
and insecurity during his visit to Mexico, along with orienting Catholics
toward a missionary mentality, the president of the Mexican bishops' conference
said on the eve of the pontiff's arrival.
doubt, he will express preoccupation with the situations the country is
experiencing," Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla told
Catholic News Service March 22.
(the message) will go more along social and cultural lines, of violence and
insecurity, emigration, the treatment of persons," he added.
is likely to express his preoccupations and hopes for the country in "a
more deep or theological explanation, as he often does, from a biblical
foundation, for example, in the homily ... from the word of God and from there
illuminate realities (and) direct the criterion for Catholics and men of good
will," Archbishop Aguiar said.
Benedict arrives March 23 in Silao, in Guanajuato state, 220 miles northwest of
Mexico City. He will be greeted at the airport by President Felipe Calderon.
arrives at a difficult time as Mexico experiences organized crime and drug
violence, which has claimed more than 47,000 lives since Calderon took office
in December 2006. The situation was highlighted by a cartel, the
quasi-religious Knights Templar, hanging banners around Guanajuato state
promising a truce during the pope's visit.
for the visit appeared evident among residents of Guanajuato, considered
Mexico's most conservative and Catholic state. Signs greeting the pontiff
dotted roadways and businesses -- and even a junkyard.
excitement appeared lacking in other parts of Mexico, however, something
Catholic leaders attributed to Mexicans' special affection for Blessed John
Paul II, who visited Mexico five times and is still considered more popular
than Pope Benedict.
Aguiar said Mexicans always have showed great affection for all pontiffs and
said the visit by Pope Benedict would provide the opportunity for "giving
continuity of love for the pope, independent of the person."
—from Catholic News Service