ALL AFRICA REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI will make a three-day visit to the West African nation of Benin in November next year.
A statement released following a joint press conference in Benin on Friday November 26 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 November 18 to 20 trips will mainly be a pastoral visit 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 recall late Cardinal Bernadin Gantin, with whom he shared many years of service in the Vatican.
Cardinal Gantin, a native of Benin passed away 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, while reporting on the issue said the visit to Benin will be the pope's second visit to Africa as pope. He visited Cameroon and Angola in March last year.