Pope Francis may visit Texas during his U.S. trip next year, San Antonio's Archbishop suggested in a recent interview.
San Antonio's Archbishop, the Most. Rev. Gustavo Garcia-Siller, was recently discussing the topic of immigration with Fox 29 when the subject of Francis' possible 2015 trip to the states came up. Reports indicate that if Francis does visit the U.S., he may choose to see the steel border fence that separates the U.S. from Mexico in Arizona, just as he visited the security wall that separates Israel from Palestine during his recent trip to the Middle East.
When asked if he would possibly visit Texas, the archbishop told Fox 29: "It could be something that the Pope might consider to contemplate. Why not."
Garcia-Siller also discussed his dedication to helping the influx of immigrant children from Mexico and other parts of Latin America once they arrive in the U.S. The Archbishop is calling on his fellow Catholics and others to help volunteer in helping the children once they arrive in the U.S.
"This is an emergency situation," Garcia-Siller told KENS 5, a local media outlet. The Archbishop went on to add that the Catholic church's efforts to help immigrants are about to expand as more arrive in the country. "We were just told that by June 30th 10,000 kids need to be accommodated and we want to help with as many as we can."
Pope Francis, a native of Argentina, has also expressed his interest in immigration reform. Back in 2013, the Catholic leader urged host countries to welcome migrants and refugees, instead of treating them like "pawns on the chessboard of humanity."
"[Immigrants] are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more," Francis added.
The pope's tentative visit to the U.S. is slated for 2015, although Vatican officials have said that it is too early to set definitive plans for the trip. The highlight of Francis' trip would be the 8th annual World Meeting of Families that will be held in Philadelphia.
According to the National Catholic Reporter, there is also speculation that Francis could visit New York while in the U.S. to speak at the United Nations.