Pope Francis will make a three-day visit to Papua New Guinea next August, as confirmed this Thursday to EFE by the Episcopal Conference of this Oceanian country.
A spokesperson for the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands told EFE by telephone that The pope will stay three days in this country that has more than two million Catholics, around 25 percent of the total population..
Papua New Guinea It has more than 9 million Christians – almost the entire population -, although the majority are Protestants and maintain many traditional spiritual or animist beliefs, the media commented. The Observer.
The Episcopal Conference has not revealed any details of Pope Francis’ agenda during those days or whether he will remain in the capital, Port Moresby, or travel to various parts of the country.
The local newspaper Post Courier He indicated that Prime Minister James Marape will give more details throughout the day about the Pope’s program during his stay in the country.
As announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Pacific Ocean country, Justin Tkatchenko, the government has received a “official note” by the Vatican confirming that Francis will visit Papua New Guinea in August.
”We are working closely with the office of the Apostolic Nuncio”he assured, as reported by local media.
Pope Francis, who has reiterated on several occasions his desire to visit the oceanic country, had planned a visit in 2020, but had to cancel it due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The last papal trip to Papua New Guinea was the one made in 1995 by John Paul II.
Before embarking on his great trip to the Pacific, the bishop of Rome is scheduled to attend the closing of the Social Week of Catholics in Italy, specifically in Trieste, on July 7. This information was announced by Giuseppe Baturi, the secretary general of the Permanent Episcopal Council of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
The closing of the 50th social week of Catholics It will run from July 3 to 7. This event represents a service offered by the Italian Episcopal Conference, aimed at the study, dissemination and application of the Social Doctrine of the Church in social issues of outstanding importance and relevance.the media explained The debate.
According to Baturi, Francis will be present on the last day of the event “to convey a message to the participants in the Trieste meeting and to preside over the mass.” However, the Vatican press office has not yet officially confirmed this move.
(with information from EFE and EP)