What's New in 2019: Summit on Child Protection and Dialogue with Islam

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There are few details about what Pope Francis will do in the second half of 2019 but the first six months are full of important commitments.

The first will be the trip to Panama to close World Youth Day. It will be Pope Francis' third after the ones in Rio de Janeiro and Krakow.

From Feb. 3 and 5, he will travel to the United Arab Emirates, to participate in an inter-religious meeting. He will be the first pontiff to visit the Arabian Peninsula, the Holy Land of Islam. 

 It will not be the only opportunity the pope will have this year to promote dialogue with the Muslim world. On March 30 and 31 he will visit Morocco. There he will also face the migratory crisis, since it is one of the main areas affected due to its proximity to Europe. 

Other confirmed trips are those to Macedonia and Bulgaria, from May 5 to 7. Pope John Paul II was in Bulgaria in 2002, but no pope has traveled to Macedonia until now.

The other big meeting is about sexual abuse. The pope has called the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences in Rome from Feb. 21 to 24. The idea is to seek clear and forceful measures to address this issue.

In October, the pope will face another particular and difficult question: the situation of the Church and the peoples in the Amazon, for which he has convened a Synod. 

During the year, Pope Francis will publish a new magisterial document as a result of the other synod which took place in 2018 and whose theme was young people, faith and vocational discernment.

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