WASHINGTON (April 12, 2007)—Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Washington, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Bishop Ricardo Ramírez of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Bishop Plácido Rodríguez of Lubbock, Texas, and Bishop Jaime Soto, auxiliary bishop of Orange, California will participate in the fifth general conference of the bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, May 13-31, in Brazil.
Also invited to participate is Msgr. Carlos Quintana Puente, head of the USCCB Secretariat for the Church in Latin America, which provides aid to the Latin American Church.
The meeting will take place in Aparecida, at a Marian shrine outside Sao Paulo. Pope Benedict XVI, who will visit Brazil May 9-13, will preside at the opening Mass.
Bishop Ramírez, who chairs the bishops' Subcommittee on Hispanic Liturgy, was elected by the U.S. bishops as their liaison to the planning committee of the fifth general conference. Bishop Rodríguez heads the U.S. bishops' Committee on Hispanic Affairs and Bishop Soto chairs the U.S. bishops' Committee on the Church in Latin America.
The Aparecida meeting marks the fifth such meeting of the Latin American bishops. Previous meetings were in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1955; Medellin, Colombia, in 1968; Puebla, Mexico, in 1979 and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1992.