VATICAN, July 3, 2013 (CNS) — Chilean Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago told his people he hoped Pope Francis would visit Argentina on a South American tour in 2015, but he said the pope told him the 2014 trip schedule was already full.
Pope Francis will travel to meet Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, will make “another trip to Africa and another to Asia” in 2014, Archbishop Ezzati said in an interview published July 2 on his archdiocesan website.
The Vatican press office said it had no information to release on the pope’s 2014 schedule.
Archbishop Ezzati said he spent 45 minutes talking with Pope Francis June 28 in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where the pope lives.
He said he asked the 76-year-old pope if he would visit Chile next year; there had been rumors of a papal trip to Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
“The pope told me that this year he had no plans to visit South America, other than Brazil” for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro July 22-29, the archbishop said.
“And next year, he already has several trips planned,” including a meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew, the archbishop said. While at the Vatican for Pope Francis’ inauguration Mass in March, the patriarch reportedly invited Pope Francis to go with him to Jerusalem in 2014 to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting there between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras.
Archbishop Ezzati said, “He told me it would be difficult to go to Latin America in 2014, but he hoped to do so in 2015 and, if so, the trip would include Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and possibly Peru.”
The archbishop said he thanked the pope for accepting the papal office, “knowing what it can mean for a person who had other plans.”
“He told me, ‘When I saw the votes pointing toward me, I put my heart at peace. I am very happy to do what the Lord has asked me to do,’” the archbishop said. “He is a great example for all of us. Sometimes it feels like the waves are very high and we’re going to sink, but the pope calls us to trust, to enjoy the ministry of serving others and to do so with peace in our hearts.” (Cindy Wooden)