Saturday, May 25, 2024

Pope Francis to Deliver Most Speeches in Spanish during U.S. Visit

pope francis

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis, in his first ever trip to the United States next week, will give only four of his 18 planned speeches in English, the rest to be delivered in Spanish. And while the Vatican spokesman has intimated that the 78-year-old Argentine pope’s decision to emphasize Spanish holds no symbolic significance, some see it as a nod to the growing Latino population in the States.

“It’s a recognition of how large the Hispanic population in the United States is,” said Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington. “And he’s coming as the first pope from the New World and the predominant language in this hemisphere is Spanish.”

The first stop of the Francis’ U.S. visit will be in Washington, D.C., where he is set to become the first pope to address Congress and the White House – two of the four speeches which will be given in his still-shaky English. The Pope will spend the first four days of his North American trip in Cuba, where a meeting with Fidel Castro in Havana was “likely,” according to papal spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi.

Surely, that meeting would make for an interesting preamble to Francis’ Congressional address.

See Pope Francis’ full schedule here.

[New York Times; Washington Examiner]