At least seven nations’ leaders are scheduled to attend the last mass that Pope Francis will give at the World Youth Day, to be held this month in Panama, said Panamanian deputy foreign minister, Luis Miguel Hincapié.
He indicated that Presidents Jimmy Morales (Guatemala), Juan Orlando Hernandez (Honduras), Salvador Sanchez Ceren (El Salvador), Carlos Alvarado (Costa Rica), Iván Duque (Colombia) and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (Portugal), as well as the host, Juan Carlos Varela, will attend the final mass on Jan. 27.
“We wanted to invite the presidents of Central America because the World Youth Day (WYD) is a day for all Central America that is taking place in Panama,” Hincapié told reporters.
Pope Francis will visit Panama from Jan. 23-27 to participate in WYD, a massive Catholic event that gathers tens of thousands of pilgrims from around the world.
The final mass will be held outside the Panamanian capital, where a gigantic platform is erected so that, along almost three kilometers, attendees can follow the Pope’s procession.
“We do not see that there will be bilateral meetings because the presidents are invited to the final mass,” said Hincapié.
“We think that they will arrive on Saturday night or Sunday and leave on Sunday,” he added.