Pope's Mexico itinerary leaves out capital

AP News
Posted: Jan 01, 2012 6:43 PM
Pope's Mexico itinerary leaves out capital

Pope Benedict XVI will head to the Catholic-rich state of Guanajuato in his first visit to Mexico in March, and skip the country's heavily populated capital.

The Mexican Episcopal Conference says Benedict will arrive on March 23 in the city of Leon where President Felipe Calderon will welcome him.

The organization said in a Sunday statement that Benedict also plans to greet worshippers in the city of Guanajuato.

He will officiate a Mass in the city of Silao beneath a hill where a 67-foot statue of Jesus Christ stands.

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The pope will return to Leon to address bishops from Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean before heading to Cuba on March 26.

The Vatican had said Benedict would avoid Mexico City because of its high altitude although it's the country's biggest city.