BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – Pope Francis is headed to Colombia next year.
The head of the South American country's Catholic Episcopal Conference announced the long-rumored trip on Saturday following a meeting with the pontiff at the Vatican. The confirmation was posted on the conference's website.
President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the announcement in a Twitter post, saying Colombians "will receive him with enthusiasm and in peace."
Celebramos anuncio de Monseñor Luis Augusto Castro sobre visita de @Pontifex_es en 2017. En Colombia lo recibiremos con entusiasmo y en paz.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) January 23, 2016
The dates of the trip are not yet set, though Francis has said he plans to visit Brazil for the 300th anniversary of the Virgin of Aparecida there.
The first Latin American pope already has a trip scheduled this year to Mexico.