Holy Father to Visit Juvenile Detention Center

The India Catholic website reported that Pope Benedict plans to visit the Casal del Marmo detention center for minors in Rome March 18.

It will be the Holy Father’s first visit to a prison since his papal election.

He is following in the steps of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II. John Paul II visited the same correctional institution in 1980.
Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, John Paul II’s then-secretary of state, carried out his pastoral ministry in the 1980s among youngsters at Casal del Marmo.

Syria to Be Site of ’08 Dialogue Conference

The Vatican decided to select Syria for holding the fifth Dialogue Conference between the Vatican and Eastern Churches in 2008, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency.

In a statement published Feb. 7, the Vatican said that the next conference will be held in Sydnayah city near Damascus. During a meeting with Makram Obeid, Syria’s ambassador to the Vatican, Pope Benedict pointed out Syria’s historical and religious role. He said, “Syria is an example for coexistence, tolerance, and positive and constructive relations among all citizens."

Pope’s Trip to Brazil Finalized

During Pope Benedict’s five-day trip to Brazil, the Holy Father will meet with young people and visit a center for recovering drug addicts before inaugurating a major meeting of Latin American bishops, the British Catholic weekly The Universe reported.

This will be the Pope’s first intercontinental journey, with 13-hour flights each way. The trip will begin May 9. As part of the trip, the Holy Father will spend time in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, before traveling to Aparecida to open the fifth general conference of the Latin American bishops.