Pope will travel to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Singapore in longest trip of papacy | World News - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Pope will travel to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Singapore in longest trip of papacy

AP |
Apr 12, 2024 04:03 PM IST

Pope will travel to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Singapore in longest trip of papacy

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will visit Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Singapore in September, the Vatican announced Friday, confirming the longest trip of Francis’ papacy that is sure to test his health, stamina and mobility.

HT Image
HT Image

The Vatican confirmed the Sept. 2-13 visit, saying the 87-year-old pope would visit Jakarta, Indonesia; Port Moresby and Vanimo, Papua New Guinea; Dili, East Timor; and Singapore. Further details will be announced later.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

Francis' health has become a source of increasing concern and speculation, even though the pontiff is able to carry on with a rigorous schedule of meetings at the Vatican.

Francis, who had part of one lung removed as a young man, had to cancel a planned visit to Dubai late last year after he came down with a bad case of bronchitis. He suffered from respiratory problems all winter and had to curtail his participation in Holy Week events to save his energy for Easter.

Francis has also been using a wheelchair for nearly two years because of bad knee ligaments, and has said that traveling has become increasingly more difficult.

And yet at 11 days, the trip would be the longest of Francis’ papacy, outpacing by a few days some of his long trips to the Americas early on in his papacy. It will bring the Argentine Jesuit to the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia, as well as the former Portuguese colony of East Timor, where the Catholic Church wields enormous influence.

In a statement announcing the visit, the Indonesian foreign ministry welcomed the visit and recalled that it had originally been scheduled for 2020 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The visit of Pope Francis to Indonesia holds significant importance to the Indonesian people, not only for Catholics but also for all religious communities. The visit is also expected to strengthen the message of tolerance, unity and world peace,” the statement said.

Indonesia is home to roughly 242 million Muslims and 29 million Christians — 8.5 million of whom are Catholics — according to a 2022 report by the Religious Affairs Ministry.

East Timor, which today has a population of about 1.2 million people, is Southeast Asia’s only predominantly Christian nation with the exception of the Philippines. According to the 2015 census, 97.6% of East Timor’s population is Catholic.

The Vatican has confirmed only one other papal trip this year — to Belgium to celebrate the anniversary of the country’s Catholic university. Francis has also said he wants to return to his native Argentina, but no plans or dates have been announced.

Karmini contributed from Jakarta, Indonesia.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok sabha election 2024 voting live , Karnataka election 2024 live in Bengaluru , Election 2024 Date along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, May 26, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On