Pope Francis said Tuesday that the latest round of financial scandal at the Vatican is actually a success story, because the situation was revealed thanks to an internal Vatican probe, which he said demonstrates that new controls are working.
Speaking to people from 18 different religions on Nov. 22, Pope Francis said that the complex challenges of the world today – including globalization, the rapid advances of technology and the persistence of civil conflicts resulting in migration, refugees, famine and war – makes the need for cooperation between religions all the more pressing.
Speaking to some 60,000 members of Thailand’s tiny Catholic community, Pope Francis on Thursday called them to be missionary disciples, explaining that being a “mercenary of the faith” does not compel others to convert.
Pope Francis arrived in Thailand Wednesday to open a Nov. 20-26 Asia tour that will also take him to Japan. It marks the first time a pope has visited the former kingdom of Siam since St. John Paul II in 1984.
When Pope Francis embarks on the thirty-second trip of his pontificate Nov. 19, headed towards Thailand and Japan, he will once again be visiting nations where Catholics are a small minority.
Pope Francis has said that Asia would be a priority in his pontificate, and he will be visiting the region again next month, when he visits Japan and Thailand in November. The pontiff has spoken about a desire in his youth to serve as a missionary in Asia, but he never got the opportunity with the Jesuits.
Peace, interreligious dialogue and respectful missionary outreach will be the top themes when Pope Francis visits Thailand and Japan in late November.
The Holy See Press Office announced that the pope’s apostolic journey will take place from Nov. 19-26. He will first spend four days in Thailand before heading to Japan.
Asia seems to be squarely in Pope Francis’s sights, with one major outing taking shape for later this year and another reportedly under consideration for 2021.