City ( AsiaNews) - In January 2015, Pope Francis will travel to Sri Lanka and
the Philippines, in a two-led Apostolic journey. The Pope himself confirmed the
trip during a press conference held yesterday evening with journalists aboard
the papal flight,
returning from the Holy Land. "There are two trips planned to Asia
- said Francis - South Korea [in
August, ed] and in January next a two-day trip to Sri Lanka and then the
Philippines, to the area where there was the tsunami".
In early May, the Bishop of Mannar, Msgr. Rayappu Joseph, had already confirmed Pope Francis' intention to go to Sri Lanka to AsiaNews, and described a visit - immediately afterwards- to the Philippines as probable.
Before Pope Francis' announcement yesterday, Card. Luis Antonio Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila, had said that "there are plans for a visit by Pope Francis to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, in a single trip to the region". The cardinal added that " the Vatican has not yet announced specific dates or an itinerary , but I am confident that [the visit] will take place early next year".