Update: Phil Lawler at Catholic World News reminds us in his daily note that Pope Benedict wasn’t just invited to Brazil; he suggested the trip himself, a very unusual move. He also arranged carefully his plans for his meeting with the bishops. This all suggests that he has a message to deliver. Keep that in mind.
Pope Benedict will begin his trip to Brazil tomorrow, where he will preside at the general assembly of the Latin American bishops’ conference (CELAM).
(As far as I know North America does not have a similar officially reocgnized continental body of bishops, and while Mexico is technically in North America, it is part of Latin America. Europe’s COMECE is the equivalent body over in the Old World.)
The trip will last until next Monday, May 14 and will include the canonization of Bl. Frei Galvao, the first native-born Brazilian saint, on Friday and another outdoor Mass on Sunday at the shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida.
Of course, Catholic World News will have full coverage of the events. Thomas at American Papist looks prepared to give you your daily roundup of complete secular media coverage and I have a hunch that Chris at Against the Grain will have his usual bang-up round-ups of papal speeches and the attendant commentary on them.
This is only the Holy Father’s 6th foreign trip during his reign and first to the Western Hemisphere. You can expect the secular media to focus on the proselyzation of Catholics by Protestant sects in Brazil, the world’s most populous Catholic country, but there’s a whole lot more going on as well.