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Chilean archbishop hopeful Pope Francis will visit South America in 2015

Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago, second from right, accompanied by Chilean church leaders (Photo: CNS)

Chilean Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago is hopeful Pope Francis will tour South America in 2015.

According to Archbishop Ezzati, next year Pope Francis will travel to meet Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in Turkey and will make “another trip to Africa and another to Asia”. However, the Vatican press office said it currently had no information to release on the Pope’s 2014 schedule.

Archbishop Ezzati spent 45 minutes talking with Pope Francis in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where the Pope lives, in late June.

He said he asked the Pope if he would visit Chile next year, after rumours arose of a papal trip to Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

“The Pope told me that this year he had no plans to visit South America, other than Brazil (for World Youth Day),” the archbishop said.

“He told me it would be difficult to go to Latin America in 2014, but he hoped to do so in 2015 and, if so, the trip would include Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and possibly Peru.”

Archbishop Ezzati added that he had thanked the Pope for accepting the papal office, “knowing what it can mean for a person who had other plans.”

“He told me, ‘When I saw the votes pointing toward me, I put my heart at peace. I am very happy to do what the Lord has asked me to do,'” the archbishop said.

“He is a great example for all of us. Sometimes it feels like the waves are very high and we’re going to sink, but the pope calls us to trust, to enjoy the ministry of serving others and to do so with peace in our hearts.”