The Day's Events
- 09:30 - Departure by plane from Leonardo Da Vinci international airport for León/Guanajuato
- Meeting of His Holiness Benedict XVI with journalists during the flight to Mexico (Papal Flight, 23 March 2012)
- 16:30 - Welcome Ceremony at the international airport of Guanajuato (Silao area)
- The pope in Mexico and Cuba, by John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter 3/22/11)
- Pope gives new twist to pro-life rhetoric, by John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter 3/26/11):
Pro-lifers often cite a famous remark by St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei: “Have you ever bothered to think how absurd it is to leave one’s Catholicism aside on entering a university, or a professional association, or a scholarly meeting, or Congress, as if you were checking your hat at the door?”
Pope Benedict XVI has echoed that position during his current trip to Mexico, which is his first to Spanish-speaking Latin America. Aboard the papal plane on Friday, he too took a swipe at those who try to drive a wedge between private and public ethics – pointedly calling it a form of “schizophrenia.”
“One sees in Latin America, and also elsewhere, among many Catholics a certain schizophrenia between individual and public morality,” Benedict said.
Coverage - Papal Press Conference
- Press Conference en Route to Mexico: Coherence, Religious Liberty - Pope Gives Overview of Challenges, Expectations (Zenit 3/23/12):
L’Osservatore Romano reported that, as usual, the press conference took place at the beginning of the trip, with 72 representatives of the international press.
The journalists’ questions referred to Mexico’s difficult situation, scourged by the destructive violence of drug trafficking, the role of the Church in the continent amid social contrasts, and debates on the legacy of “liberation theology,” the question of human rights in Cuba with reflections on the enduring precariousness of international balances with reference to the Caribbean Island, and the numerous challenges that appear on the horizon of the Church in Latin America, committed to the continental mission which began after the conference of Aparecida.
- "The Church is not a political party but a moral entity which sides with freedom" (Vatican Information Service 3/24/12).
- Pope calls for patience in fight to bring freedom to communist Cuba, by Francis X Rocca. (Catholic News Service 3/23/12):
En route to Latin America for his second papal visit to the region, Pope Benedict XVI called for patience with the Catholic Church's effort to promote freedom in communist Cuba, and criticized Catholics who participate in illegal drug trade or who ignore their moral responsibilities to seek social justice.
- Pope says communism has failed in Cuba, urges change (Reuters 3/23/12):
Pope Benedict said on Friday that communism had failed in Cuba and offered the Church's help in creating a new economic model, drawing a reserved response from the Cuban government ahead of his visit to the island next week.
Speaking on the plane taking him from Rome for a six-day trip to Mexico and Cuba, the Roman Catholic leader told reporters: "Today it is evident that Marxist ideology in the way it was conceived no longer corresponds to reality."
Coverage - Arrival
- Benedict XVI arrives in Mexico as a pilgrim of faith, hope and love (Vatican Information Service, 3/24/12). An account of Benedict's arrival at the international airport of Guanajuato in the Mexican city of Leon, where he was greeted by Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, president of Mexico, and by Archbishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago of Leon.
- Waiting for the pope: Vatican flags, human wall -- and hope for peace, by David Agren. (Catholic News Service 3/23/12). Thousands of Catholics formed a human wall lining parts of the highway and boulevards leading into and through this industrial city of shoe factories and tanneries in anticipation of Pope Benedict's arrival March 23 -- his first visit to Mexico since being elected in 2005.
- Pope Arrives in Mexico, Lamenting Drug Violence (New York Times 3/23/12).
- Giving sombreros to popes a tradition for family of Mexican milliners, by David Agren. (Catholic News Service 3/23/12). The milliners of Sombreros Salazar in this deeply Catholic town 140 miles northeast of Guadalajara have the habit of making oversized, charro hats for the pope.
- Pope uses cane at airport at start of trip (Associated Press 3/23/12):
Benedict, who turns 85 next month, leaned on a black cane with his right hand as he walked steadily for about 100 meters (yards) to the foot of the Alitalia plane from the helicopter which flew him from the Vatican to Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport Friday morning.
Papal aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the pope started using the cane about two months ago in private because it makes him feel more secure, and not for any medical problem.
- Cardinal Turkson: Praying for conversions and the touching of hearts in Mexico and Cuba Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, expresses his hopes for Pope Benedict’s apostolic journey to Mexico and Cuba [Interview with Vatican Radio].
- Pope Benedict XVI sends telegrams from plane (Vatican Radio, 3/23/12). Pope Benedict sent telegrams to the heads of state of the countries he was scheduled to fly over as he made his way to Mexico, the first leg of his Latin American trip.
- Mexico spends millions to greet pope, by Rafael Romo. (CNN 3/23/12). It has been a project of celestial proportions, but it's finally ready. Construction workers have labored nonstop for months -- Their mission? To build an altar worthy of a pope and an outdoor venue that can accommodate as many as 700,000 people.
- Anonymous Hackers Target Pope in Mexico (Fox News Latino 3/23/12):
The infamous Anonymous hacker group is not happy about Pope Benedict XVI's arrival in Mexico on Friday.
The group crashed at least two of the websites in Mexico on the eve of the Pope's visit on Thursday, claiming the papal visit is a political move to support the conservative National Action party.
- Pope in Latin America in shadow of John Paul, by Philip Puella (Reuters, 3/22/12). A ghost will be following Pope Benedict at every step of his trip to Mexico and Cuba -- that of his predecessor.
- Protestants on the rise as pope visits Mexico (Reuters 3/21/12). "When Pope Benedict visits the city of Leon in Mexico's Catholic heartland this weekend, the growing strength of Protestant groups will be on view just hundreds of meters from where he will meet with bishops and the Catholic faithful."
- Pope's Mexico Visit Clouded by Allegation that Vatican Knew of Abuse In Mexico (Fox News Latini 3/21/12):
The same week that Pope Benedict XVI is set to arrive in Mexico, a new book details internal Vatican documents showing the Holy See knew decades ago of allegations that the Mexican founder of the disgraced Legion of Christ religious order was a drug addict and pedophile.