Pope Benedict will make a three-day visit to the West African nation of Benin from 18- 20 November next year, CISA reports.
A statement released following a joint press conference in Benin said the Pope has accepted an invitation to visit the country extended to him by President Boni Yayi and the Catholic Bishops of the country.
The statement also said the visit will be mainly a pastoral one, to mark the 150th anniversary of the first evangelization in the former French colony and to present to the bishops of the continent the Apostolic Exhortation of the Second African Synod. The post-synodal document will develop the theme of the Synod and will be a pastoral guideline for the Church in Africa in the coming years.
The statement further notes that, the visit to Benin will also give the Pope an opportunity to commemorate late Cardinal Bernadin Gantin, with whom he shared many years of service in the Vatican.
Cardinal Gantin, a native of Benin died in 2008. He 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.
Radio Vatican, said the visit to Benin will be the Pope’s second visit to Africa. He visited Cameroon and Angola in March last year.