2010-11-26 15:49:58

Pope to visit Benin next year

(November 26, 2010) Pope Benedict XVI will visit the West African nation of Benin in November next year, the Vatican announced on Friday. It said that Pope Benedict has accepted the invitation of President Boni Yayi and the Catholic Bishops of Benin and will make an official visit to the country, Nov. 18 -20, 2011. However, the Vatican said that it will mainly be a pastoral visit to mark the 150th anniversary of the first evangelization in Benin and to release the Apostolic Exhortation of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Africa that was held in the Vatican in October, 2009. It will also be an occasion for the German Pope to recall late Cardinal Bernadin Gantin of Benin with whom he shared many years of service in the Vatican. Cardinal Gantin who passed away in 2008, headed several Vatican offices from 1977 to 2002 when he retired as the Dean of the College of Cardinals. Pope Benedict as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger succeeded him as dean.

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