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Pope Francis Contemplates Return to U.S. for United Nations Assembly Address

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 Rumors are swirling that Pope Francis may soon set foot again on American soil, this time to address the esteemed United Nations General Assembly. While the Vatican has yet to confirm, reports from the French Catholic newspaper La Croix suggest that such a journey is under consideration.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Highlights

By Catholic Online
4/25/2024 (2 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Pope Francis, United States, UN

Sources within the Vatican Secretariat of State hint at a formal invitation from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, indicating the pontiff's inclination to accept. The proposed timing aligns with the "Summit of the Future," slated by the U.N. for September 22â€"23.

This potential trip adds a layer of complexity to Pope Francis's already-packed September itinerary, which includes visits to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and Singapore from September 2â€"13. Additionally, plans are in motion for a later visit to Belgium to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the University of Louvain, with a possible postponement to 2025.

While in Belgium, the pope is expected to preside over Mass at the national shrine of Koelkenberg, with rumors circulating about a potential stop in Luxembourg. Despite official denials, sources suggest the Vatican is considering the option.

The forthcoming U.N. summit aims to fortify the organization's frameworks and global governance to confront both emerging and persistent challenges. It seeks to forge a "pact for the future" to expedite the realization of sustainable development goals.

In preparation for this pivotal event, Pope Francis has emphasized its significance, urging stakeholders to translate plans into tangible actions for transformative change.

However, considerations for the pope's health loom large. At 87, Pope Francis has undergone multiple surgeries in recent years and maintains a regimen of regular medical evaluations. Notably, a previous engagement at the COP28 meeting in Abu Dhabi was canceled due to health concerns.

Should Pope Francis make the journey, it would mark his return to the United States since his historic visit in 2015, during which he also addressed the United Nations, highlighting his commitment to global dialogue and diplomacy.

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