Pope to Make First Visit to Latin America in May

Pope Benedict XVI will make his first trip to Latin America in May, a visit to Brazil to address the region's Roman Catholic bishops, the Vatican said Friday.

The pope will depart from Rome on May 9 and remain in Sao Paulo until May 11, when he goes to the city of Aparecida to open once-a-decade meeting of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bishops from Canada, the United States, Spain and Portugal also will attend, along with a small group of lay people and representatives of other denominations.

Brazil is the world's largest Roman Catholic country, but the church throughout the whole region has been losing members steadily to Pentecostal and other denominations.

Benedict is scheduled to return to Rome on May 14.