(AsiaNews) - Pope Francis could make a visit to South Korea in 2014, Holy See Press
Office director Fr Federico Lombardi told journalists this morning.
The pope is
considering a visit to the Korean Peninsula as part of Asian Youth Day, which
will take place in August in the Diocese of Daejeon.
way back from World Youth Day in Brazil, the bishop of Daejeon had told AsiaNews that the Bishops' Conference
and the South Korean government were trying to get
Francis to visit the Asian nation.
to Mgr Lazarus You Heung-sik, a papal visit "would give new momentum to
our missionary Church and the Churches of Asia, as well as help peace talks
with North Korea."
himself renewed the invitation in a letter to the pope in which he presented Youth
Day, an event that will bring together young Catholics from all over the
Korea's Catholic Church and Catholic community strongly hope that the Pope will
visit their country.
year, plans are underway for two events of great importance for the Church in
South Korea and Asia. In addition to Asian Youth Day, a decree of beatification
is expected for 124
"new" South Korean martyrs, and Francis himself might beatify
them in person.
way home from his trip to Brazil, the Pope had told reporters that he planned to
visit Asia in 2014. "I have been invited to go to Sri Lanka and also to the
Philippines. But I must go to Asia. Because Pope Benedict did not have time to
go to Asia, and it is important. He went to Australia and then to Europe and
America, but Asia . . ."
In his recent
New Year's Greetings to the diplomats accredited with the Holy See, the pope
said, "On this, the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations with the
Republic of Korea, I wish to implore from God the gift of reconciliation on the
peninsula, and I trust that, for the good of all the Korean people, the
interested parties will tirelessly seek out points of agreement and possible
sign of the pope's interest towards Korea is his decision to name Mgr Andrew
Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop of Seoul and apostolic administrator of Pyongyang, to
the post of cardinal.