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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis and Vatican's challenges in 2018

A crucial year begins for the Holy Father, who will celebrate his fifth year as pope in March. 

In the coming months, apart from the surprises, he will need a big energy boost to face these five looming issues. 

WORLD PEACE

The pope is worried about the increase in worldwide tension, especially in Korea and the Middle East. 

Without a doubt, Pope Francis will have to make an extra effort to propose solutions, build bridges and avoid conflicts. 

PAPAL TRIPS

In January, the pope will travel to Chile and Peru; and in August, to Ireland, where he will not have it easy. The Catholic Church there finds itself plagued by a string of abuse scandals.

In addition, Pope Francis may travel to the Baltic countries and India this year. 

SYNOD ON YOUTH

In October, bishops from around the world met at the Vatican to search for ways to help young people practice the faith. 

To develop a plan, bishops in Rome and throughout the globe are gathering opinions from thousands of people, whether Catholic or not. 

CURIA REFORM

In 2018, the pope could finish the new constitution on Vatican Curia reform, which he has been working on since the first months of his papacy. 

The reorganization intends to make the structure more simple and allow the voices of those far from Rome to be heard. 

BENEDICT XVI'S HEALTH

February 11 marks five years since the announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, who will turn 91 in April. 

Despite being reasonably healthy and continuingto welcome daily visitors, he appears frail in photos from recent months. 

Thus, his health will continue to be a topic in the news and one that causes rumors.