The Government of the Republic of Cyprus announced today that Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Mediterranean island nation in June 2010.
Details of the announcement are available here, at terrasanta.net. The website reports, “According to informed sources, the main purpose of the visit, to take place 4-6 June, will be to deliver to Church leaders from across the Middle East a summary of issues to be discussed at the Special Synod of Bishops on the Middle East. The summary is otherwise known as an Instrumentum Laboris. The synod is scheduled to take place in Rome 10 - 24 October 2010.”
The Cyprus trip is the third papal visit for 2010 to be disclosed in recent weeks. Though details have yet to be confirmed by the Vatican, it is known that the Pope will visit Fatima in Portugal in May and will travel to Britain later in the year.
Benedict still has a long way to go, if we may be excused a little pun, before matching the peripatetic precedent set by his globe-trotting papal predecessor, Pope John Paul II. But the number of trips Benedict has scheduled is remarkable for an octogenarian, and along with his continuing formidable intellectual output these papal trips bear witness to how robust the Holy Father remains in the ninth decade of his life.