Pope Francis will visit Mongolia in early September

“Accepting the invitation of the president of Mongolia and the religious authorities of this country, Pope Francis will make an apostolic visit from August 31 to September 4 this year. The program and other details of the visit will be communicated in the coming weeks”, announced in a statement the director of the Vatican Press Service, Matteo Bruni.
It is the first visit of a Pope to this East Asian country with a Buddhist majority and one of the smallest Catholic communities in the world: about 1,500 people out of the country’s 3 million inhabitants.
Pope Francis, who prefers “peripheral Catholic strongholds” to Western ones, announced as early as February his plan to go to this country with which the Vatican established diplomatic relations in 1992. Located between Russia – whose satellite was in the Soviet era – and China, which absorbs 86% of its exports, Mongolia is a country rich in mineral resources and where a third of the population are nomadic herders. The country, say local sources quoted by foreign journalists who arrive in Ulaanbaatar, has been the victim of corruption scandals and the theater of political instability since leaving the Soviet yoke in 1990. In August 1992, the then Pope made the Italian missionary a cardinal Giorgio Marengo, apostolic prefect of Ulan Bator, thus becoming, at 48, the youngest cardinal in the world.
We remind you that, since his election in 2013, the leader of the Catholic Church has made 41 trips abroad, visiting around 60 countries. Despite an increasingly fragile health that sometimes forced him to resort to a wheelchair or cane, he continues to travel to Catholic communities around the world. This year, he will go to Mongolia, after visits to DR Congo, South Sudan and Hungary. Between August 2-6 he goes to Portugal and on September 23 he is expected in Marseille, France.

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2023-06-03 17:45:32