Pope Francis confirms to visit Philippines and Sri Lanka in January 2015

Pope Francis
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Pope Francis will make his first visit to the Philippines on January 2015.

Francis made the announcement on Monday, May 26 in a news conference in the aircraft on his return home to the Vatican, according to Catholic News Service (CNS) report.

Reports said that the leader of the Roman Catholic Church will be in Philippines, the Asia’s largest Roman Catholic population, for two days but gave no definite dates and details.

The Roman Pontiff also confirmed that he will visit Sri Lanka next year.

The Pope was quoted as saying (in Italian):

"Rispetto all’Asia, ci sono in programma due viaggi: questo in Corea del Sud, per l’incontro dei giovani asiatici, e poi, a gennaio prossimo, un viaggio di due giorni in Sri Lanka e poi nelle Filippine, nella zona che ha subito il tifone.," the Pope said (via vatican.va).

Translated in English (via Google Translate):

"Compared to Asia, we are planning two trips: that in South Korea, for the meeting of young Asians, and then, in January next year, a two-day trip to Sri Lanka and then in the Philippines, in the area that has once the typhoon."

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle had earlier told CNS that plans are underway for Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines to those who were affected by natural disasters.

"I think one purpose of the visit of the Holy Father is to come close to the people who suffered from the recent typhoon (in November) and the earthquake (in October)," Cardinal Tagle said (via catholicnews.com).

The Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has earlier reported that the first non-European Pope, His Excellency Pope Francis may attend the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in Cebu after the Vatican requested to move the activity to an earlier date.

Originally, the Philippines will host the event in Cebu City from May 23 to 29, 2016. But the IEC has been rescheduled to January 25 to 31, 2015.

If the Holy Father Pope Francis does visit the Philippines in January 2015, he will be the third Pope to visit the country, after Pope Paul VI in 1970 and now St. John Paul II in 1981 and 1995.

John Paul visited Manila two decades ago for the World Youth Day in January 1995.

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