Pope turns down invitation from mayor and bishop of Avila to visit St. Teresa's city

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17/12/2020
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In 2022, the fourth centennial of the canonization of four Spanish saints will be celebrated. They are St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier and St. Isidro Labrador.

That's why the bishop of Avila traveled to Rome, to ask the pope to visit his country for the occasion.

MSGR. JOSÉ MARÍA GIL TAMAYO
Bishop of Avila (Spain)

“We told the pope he has a poker of Spaniards, two from the Society of Jesus. The pope welcomed this.... He laughed and told us he's open to the idea, but that his preferential option is for the smallest, most impoverished countries.”

For the bishop it's significant that the pope welcomed the delegation from Avila to receive the invitation.

They know that although there's only one year left until the fourth centennial, it's difficult for Pope Francis to visit Spain, because of the pandemic and because it's not a periphery country.

MSGR. JOSÉ MARÍA GIL TAMAYO
Bishop of Avila (Spain)

“The pope clears well. The pope's affinity for soccer... He clears well, and he does so with grace. I think he will fit in well, but we've also seen the difficulties of the pandemic and the difficulty of movement on trips, which would also mean large concentrations of people.”

For now, the pope has confirmed only one trip. It will take place in March 2021, when he will visit Iraq.

The pandemic has obligated him to cancel a trip to Malta and another one to Hungary; and to postpone important events like WYD in Lisbon and the World Meeting of Families in Rome.

Javier Romero
Translation: CT

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