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ARGENTINA | 24-04-2023 11:56

Pope Francis says he wants to visit Argentina in 2024

Leader of Catholic Church says in an interview that he wants to visit his homeland in 2024, in what would be his first trip to Argentina as pontiff.

Pope Francis wants to travel to Argentina in 2024, when the country has finished with the electoral season and has a new government.

The Argentine pontiff, 86, confirmed his intentions in an interview with the La Nación newspaper, saying "I want to go next year."

The Pope has previously spoke of his intention to visit Argentina, but has refused to give a potential date. Francis refuses to visit countries in an election year and, given that Argentina has nationwide ballots this year and in 2025, the date fits. 

In previous interviews, he revealed that he initially planned to visit his homeland in November 2017, but that a change in circumstances prevented him from making the trip. He instead ended up travelling to Chile and Peru and, as a result, has never visited Argentina while pontiff.

With regard to the political situation in his native country, the pontiff avoided offering an opinion, citing the proximity of the elections.

"I've been out of the country for 10 years. I don't have my finger on the pulse of what's going on in Argentina. It would be unfair for me to have sympathy or antipathy in such circumstances." he told  La Nación.

He did, however, address local Church politics, referring to the possible replacement of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Mario Poli.

"There are three strong candidates. I cannot name any of them because only one will be appointed," he said. "I must take into account the opinion of the Vatican institutions and the cardinals who are in charge of those institutions. It is not just a personal decision."

Another issue he addressed was the accusations made against John Paul II by Pietro Orlandi, who blames him for the kidnapping of his sister Emmanuela in April 1983. Both are the children of a former Vatican official and the case has come to prominence in recent months with the release of a documentary on Netflix.

"John Paul was a saint in life and is now a saint formally after death. No-one can honestly doubt the decency of Pope [Karol Józef] Wojtyla," he stressed.

 

 

– TIMES/NA

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