The archbishop of the Arequipa region, Javier del Río Alba, said today that the Pope Francisco “He has the desire” to visit the country and does not rule out this trip in 2018, although “there is still no date” planned.
Del Rio Alba explained today in statements to Efe that this was expressed by the Pope during the audience he has held in the Vatican with the bishops of Peru.
The archbishop acknowledged that the president of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón, renewed the invitation to the pontiff to travel to the country and that the Pope confessed that it is a journey he has in mind.
“The Pope has said that he is not ruled out, that he undoubtedly wishes to visit Peru, and that the possibility that it is next year is not ruled out,” he said. “He has it in his heart, he has the desire, but there is still no date,” he added.
Del Río Alba described the meeting as “very pleasant, very fraternal”, and said that Francisco invited them to talk and discuss the experiences of each of the bishops, as well as to illustrate the work they do in their dioceses.
“It was a pretty nice meeting,” and the Argentine pope was open to listen to them “if there was any question we wanted to ask you, any advice,” he concluded.