VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis I announced his plans to visit Argentina in 2016 in an interview with an Argentine parish publication, reported by Italian media on Tuesday.
“Early 2016, but still nothing is certain so far because we must arrange a space for the visit in the schedule,” he said in response to a question about the time of the trip.
The weekly La Carcova News published the response to the question from Jose Maria di Paola, known as “Father Pepe,” the pastor of the San Juan Bosco Parish, in the suburbs of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.
The interview was reported to have taken place during Father Pepe’s visit to the Vatican in February, according to the published transcript in the Italian Catholic publication, Avvenire.
In the interview, the Pope asked Argentine politicians, with October’s presidential elections in mind, to “present a clear electoral platform” in order to allow the people make informed decisions.
He also called for integrity in elections and free campaigns that are not funded by outside parties in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
When asked if he fears for his life, being that there may be people who want to kill him, the Pope said that his “life is in God’s hands.”
The Pope is set to visit several countries in 2015, including a trip to Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay in July, a later a trip to the United States in September, and many countries in Africa by the end of the year.