Pope Francis to visit Sri Lanka and the Philippines

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Pope Francis will pay a two day visit to Sri Lanka  in January 2015 and then to Philippines was an announcement he made at a news conference in the aircraft on his return home to the Vatican.  

Among the many questions the Pope answered at  the news conference he also made this announcement of  his future visits to Philippines and Sri Lanka.  At the recent Ad limina visit of the Bishops of Sri Lanka much was spoken about the civil war and the need for further peace and reconciliation. The pope’s personal presence there will surely boost the peace process it is hoped.

Earlier when a group  of pilgrims led by the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, visited the pope  in the Vatican, Pope Francis greeted Cardinal Ranjith, and thanked him for an invitation to visit Sri Lanka. “I welcome this invitation,” the Pope had said, “and I think the Lord will grant us the grace.”

Yet another time Pope Francis had told Sri Lankans living in Italy that he hoped to take up an invitation to visit their country, where the wounds of civil war still needed to heal.

Pope Francis to visit Sri Lanka and the Philippines

Pope Francis and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

While last May 19, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle had told CNS in a separate interview that plans are underway for Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Tagle  also said that one purpose of the papal visit could be "to come close to the people who suffered from the recent typhoon (in November) and the earthquake (in October)."

Pope Francis will be the third pope to visit the Philippines, after Pope Paul VI (1970) and now St. John Paul II (1981 and 1995).

Vatican Radio

Source: news.va (May 27, 2014)