Pope Francis smiles at a weekly General Audience Pope Francis smiles at a weekly General Audience  (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis to visit 4 nations across Asia and Oceania in September

Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, and Singapore on September 2-13, 2024.

By Devin Watkins

The Holy See Press Office announced on Friday that Pope Francis will visit three nations in Asia and one in Oceania in early September.

He accepted the invitation of the Heads of State and local Church authorities to make what will be his 45th Apostolic Journey abroad.

The Pope is scheduled to depart Rome on September 2 and return on September 13.

He travels first to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, where he will land on September 3 and remain until September 6.

Pope Francis will then fly east to visit Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, and Vanimo on September 6-9.

His next stop will be in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste, on September 9-11.

From there, the Pope will travel to Singapore for a 3-day visit on September 11-13.

According to the Holy See Press Office, the full programme of his Apostolic Journey will be published at a later date.

Local Catholic population

Pope Francis first mentioned the possibility of traveling to the region in December 2023.

In an interview with the Mexican broadcaster N+, he said he hoped to travel to “Polynesia” in August and to his native Argentina later in the year.

Then, in January 2024, the Pope told an interviewer with the Italian newspaper La Stampa that he would visit Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia.

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, and Catholics number over 8 million, or 3.1 percent of the population.

Around 32 percent of Papua New Guinea’s population are Catholic, numbering around 2 million.

Timor-Leste is overwhelmingly Catholic, accounting for around 96 percent of the population, counting over 1 million people.

Some 395,000 Catholics live in Singapore, representing around 3 percent of the population.

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12 April 2024, 12:00