April 21, 2023 // National

Pope Francis Confirms Trip to Mongolia in Fall

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis confirmed he will travel to Mongolia in September, becoming the first pope to visit the Asian nation, which is home to a cardinal and some 1,300 Catholics. In an audience on April 14 with executives and staff of ITA Airways, the airline that has taken the pope on his international trips since 2021, he said that he will visit Mongolia, a country sandwiched between Russia and China, after traveling to Hungary in late April and Marseille, France, in September. During an airborne news conference on his return flight from South Sudan in February, the pope told journalists there was a “possibility that from Marseille I will fly to Mongolia.” To the airline workers, Pope Francis said that “God willing” he will leave for his 41st apostolic trip, traveling to Hungary April 28-30 “and then there will be Marseille and Mongolia, and all the others that are on the waiting list.” In August of 2022, Pope Francis named Italian Bishop Giorgio Marengo, Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to be the first cardinal based in Mongolia. The cardinal, 48, is the youngest member of the College of Cardinals.

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