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Vatican

Latin American officials: Pope Francis to visit three countries July 6-12

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Pope Francis is expected to arrive July 6 in Ecuador, starting a three-country tour of his home continent, The Associated Press reported from Quito.

The trip, the pope's second to South America since being elected in March 2013, also would include stops in Bolivia and Paraguay, two fast-growing countries in recent years, but still among the poorest on the continent.

Pope to formally proclaim holy year in front of basilica's Holy Door

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Celebrating the first vespers for Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis formally will deliver the "bull of indiction" or proclamation of the extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy.

Portions of the document will be read Saturday in front of the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican announced. The Holy Door, usually bricked up, is opened at the beginning of a jubilee year.

The Holy Year of Mercy is scheduled for Dec. 8, 2015, to Nov. 20, 2016.

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