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Pope Francis Confirmed To Visit Greece And Cyprus In December

The pope might visit a refugee camp in Greece, which he also visited in 2016.

In an interview with an Argentinian news outlet and a Spanish media company, Pope Francis confirmed that he is scheduled to visit Greece and Cyprus in the first weekend of December. “The first weekend of December, I will be visiting Greece and Cyprus,” the pope said, adding that the Holy See is finalizing the details for his trip. This will be his last trip for 2021.

According to a Greek bishop, a visit to the refugee camp in the island of Lesbos may be in the pope’s itinerary. He previously visited the camp in 2016. The pope brought 12 refugees back to Italy with him. (Read: LOOK: Vatican’s New Apostolic Nuncio Arrives in Manila)

Apart from the two countries, Pope Francis also mentioned a couple of other places that he would want to visit in the next year.

Planned pontifical visits

Displaced people are seen in a file photo along a road near Goma, Congo. (Photo from Thomas Mukoya/Reuters via CNS)

The 84-year-old pontiff also shared to the media that he “had in mind” two separate trips to Congo and Hungary in 2022. While the pope did visit Hungary’s capital, Budapest, in September to close the Eucharistic Congress being held there, it is not considered a pontifical visit.

On the other hand, if the trip to Congo pushes through, it will be the pope’s first visit to Africa in three years; his last one being in 2019 when he toured Mauritius, Madagascar and Mozambique. However, Pope Francis did not mention if he was intending to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo, or both. (Read: Pope Francis Confirms Plans to Visit Hungary in September)

The pope also mentioned Papua New Guinea and East Timor, saying he wanted to “settle the unpaid bill for the trip to Papua New Guinea and East Timor.” He was scheduled to visit the two countries in 2020, but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pontifical visits to any of these four countries have not yet been confirmed as of writing.

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