The Pope will not visit the Plains

The Pope will not visit the Plains


The Plains of Abraham will be an essential gathering place during Pope Francis' visit, although the faithful gathered there will not see the 85-year-old pontiff in the flesh. He will instead address them through giant screens. 

After landing at Jean-Lesage International Airport in Quebec, scheduled for around 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, the Holy Father will head to the Citadel of Quebec, where he will meet dignitaries and make a public address.

The general public will not be admitted inside, however, being instead invited to follow everything from giant screens that will broadcast the activity live on the Plains of Abraham, nearby.

Issue of sobriety

Currently, there is “no plan” for a speech or a walkabout on the Plains, says Valérie Roberge-Dion, director Communications of the Catholic Church of Quebec.

“There is an issue of sobriety in the choice of activities, which was made to respect the spirit of the trip [la reconciliation avec les peupleautochelles, NDLR] and to also take into account one's health, therefore smaller, more short,” she explains.

Remember that the pope suffers from significant mobility problems, due to persistent pain in one knee.

Because of his large capacity, the Plains will still play a central role during the event.

Most of the programming will be broadcast there, including the highly anticipated mass at the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré basilica, the culmination of the papal visit, on Thursday.

At the end afternoon, the Pope will be back in Quebec for a more intimate time of prayer with members of the Church (vespers) at Notre-Dame-de-Québec Cathedral-Basilica, which will also be broadcast on Plains.

“In fact, the Plains will be a site that will be able to accommodate people much more widely than sites like Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré or vespers at the cathedral,” said Ms. Roberge-Dion.

Not a “show

The site is called to be “ a crossroads focused on encounters” honoring Aboriginal heritage.

“It will not be a festival or a show, it is not the spirit of what will be experienced there”, illustrates the spokesperson.

The organizers intend to specify quickly, possibly this week, what will be the mechanism (ticketing, pre-registration or free access) to access the Plains, but, one thing is certain, it will be free.

On the other hand, the authorities municipal and police should soon take stock of the impact on traffic, while the event requires colossal logistics.

In an interview on Saturday with the agency of Reuters press, Pope Francis has mentioned that he still intends to come to Canada and he denied rumors that he could resign from his post soon because of his health problems, assuring that it did not never crossed the mind”.

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