Panama City (Agenzia Fides) - The President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, received yesterday, 29 November, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, who is visiting Panama to participate in the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops' Secretariat of Central America and as special Envoy of Pope Benedict XVI at the opening of the Jubilee Year for the 500th anniversary of the creation of the first diocese in the American continent, Santa Maria La Antigua (see Fides 13/09/2012; 28/11/2012).
During the meeting, the President expressed his satisfaction for Cardinal Ouellet’s visit, and according to information from the local press, he also spoke of the everyone’s great desire to have Pope Benedict XVI in Panama next year, to celebrate the closing of the Jubilee Year. The note sent to Fides Agency also speaks of the full support expressed by the President for the Catholic Church and the important role it plays within the Panamanian society.
On September 9, 2013 the concluding celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of the Diocese of Santa Maria La Antigua is expected.
During this year, the Church has organized various religious and cultural activities, addressed to civil society, with the support of state and private institutions. One of the first initiaves regards the publication of a Special Dossier that tells the story, the logo of the celebration, the anthem, prayer and the people involved in these 500 years of evangelization of the first diocese in America. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 30/11/2012)