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CELAM invites Pope to visit Latin America during his trip to the U.S. in 2015

  A small group of bishops and cardinals from Latin America were among the first to meet with Pope Francis after his visit to the Holy Land. The leadership for CELAM, the regional bishop's group, ended their annual assembly with the Pope's audience. ARCH. CARLOS AGUIAR RETES President, CELAM "We told him that we were struck by his decision to stop and pray before the separation barrier in Bethlehem. He said: 'It just came to me. All of a sudden, I saw the barrier. We were there, so I asked them to stop, I wanted to pray for peace and reconciliation.' He also told us that he's very happy that the presidents of the States of Israel and Palestine accepted his invitation to come and pray with him.â? During their assembly in Rome, the leadership of the CELAM also had the chance to talk about immigration, with several ambassadors from Latin America. They also showed Pope Francis a video that better describes the situation. ARCH. CARLOS AGUIAR RETES President, CELAM "He made this gesture, as if saying... or taking in the drama that plays out there. Certainly, I think that he's constantly praying, because he told us so. He said: 'Thanks to God, with the intervention in Lampedusa, the Italian government reacted very favorably. They've come up with some, partial solutions, but they are coming up with solutions.'â? The group also presented a proposal to the Pope to disseminate Evangelii Gaudium in Latin America and the Latin American Congress on the Family, which will serve as a preview to the Synod on the Family. They also used the audience to give the Pope an invitation. ARCH. CARLOS AGUIAR RETES President, CELAM "We told him that we already know that he's going to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015. So we asked him to stop by Latin America. He didn't say no. He answered with his expression also, saying, as he always does: 'I'll leave it to prayer and discernment.'â? Bishops from Latin America are currently hard at work preparing for the Synod on the Family in October. Msgr. Aguiar said they are invested in the event, because they're sure many good things will come out of it. AC/RCA AA VM -PR Up: MAE