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Pope Francis expresses desire for Argentina visit, Gänswein to leave Vatican apartment

Pope Francis during a papal flight on July 20, 2022. (Photo by Vatican Media)

Pope Francis finally expressed his desire to visit his home country, Argentina, in 2024, which he has yet to see since his election to the papacy in 2013.

Argentinian journalist Joaquín Morales Solá revealed that the pope said this to him during a recent private audience at the Vatican.

“I want to go to the country next year,” the pope said, as reported by Morales Sola.

When the Argentinian daily La Nacion asked last April about his canceled Argentinian trip in 2017, Pope Francis explained that his apostolic visit did not push through because of the elections. The pontiff does not hold an apostolic visit to a country in an election year to avoid coming across as influencing the election.

The pope clarified that “there is no refusal to go” to Argentina and that he really “hopes to go” there.

“Later, what happened is that things got complicated in a different way; there were two years of a pandemic that led to trips that had to be made, even to places where one says, ‘what was he there for,’ but he had to go,” he added.

Furthermore, Morales Sola reports that Pope Francis has asked Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Pope Benedict XVI’s secretary, to vacate his Vatican apartments in a few months.

According to the pontiff, he has given the German archbishop a chance to decide whether to stay in Italy or follow suit with other private secretaries of former popes who returned to their native countries. For instance, St. John Paul II’s personal secretary Stanislaw Dziwisz did not stay in Italy and returned home.


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