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Pope may visit Indonesia, Singapore and Timor-Leste this year

Pope Francis is likely to visit at the end of August four countries in Asia—Indonesia, Singapore, Timor-Leste, and Papua New Guinea.

According to America, a monthly Catholic magazine published by the Jesuits of the United States, Pope Francis planned to visit Asia in 2020.   However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay in the scheduled visit.

Timor-Leste has the most Catholic people in Asia—97% of its 1.4 million people are Catholic.

In contrast, only 26% of Papua New Guinea's 10 million people are Catholic. Francis has wanted to visit both small countries on the periphery of the world for a long time.

Indonesia, on the other hand, has the most Muslims of any country in the world, and Singapore has been pleading with the Vatican to visit the city-state.

Although it's not likely, Francis could also go to Vietnam this year. Things have gotten better between the Holy See and Vietnam.

The Vietnamese government let the Holy See open an office and had a resident representative in the country last year. This was the first time since the end of the Vietnam War that this had been possible.

In July of last year, Vietnam's president met with the pope, and in December, he said that he had sent Pope Francis a formal letter asking him to visit the country.

Some say Francis wants to accept the president's offer, but the Vatican prefers the Pope's visit to occur after establishing full diplomatic ties.

According to a top Vatican official speaking to America, the Vietnamese government could quickly form diplomatic ties, similar to the case of Myanmar, where ties were established months before Francis visited the country in 2017.

Besides Asian countries, the Pope plans to visit Belgium and Argentina (his homeland) this year.

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked Francis to visit Paris for the reopening of the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral on December 8, 2024, although Francis has not yet revealed his plans.

Francis has been to 61 countries on 44 trips outside of Italy since he became pope in 2013.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.