VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is confirming Pope Francis will travel to Panama in January for the Catholic Church’s big youth rally, and says he’ll also spend time there with juvenile delinquents and people suffering from AIDS.
History’s first Latin American pope will be making his first visit to Central America, though he has been to Mexico, Cuba and several countries in South America.
The Jan. 23-28 trip includes meetings with Panamanian authorities, the region’s bishops and activities of World Youth Day, the once-every-three-year rally instituted by St. John Paul II to invigorate Catholic youth.
During his visit, Francis will celebrate Mass for young people held in a youth detention facility in Pacora, while on the final day of his visit he’ll call on an archdiocesan-supported home for people with HIV and AIDS.
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