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Rome Reports

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Pope's potential papal trips in 2020

Pope Francis has shown interest in traveling to eight different countries in the year 2020. Among these are Montenegro, where the pope would be the first pontiff to ever visit. On this trip it's likely he would also visit the island of Cyprus, which Benedict XVI visited in 2010.

During General Audiences, the pope has also expressed his great desire to visit Iraq and South Sudan, two countries struggling with war. In Iraq, violent demonstrations have left hundreds dead and thousands injured.

“I am worried about the situation in Iraq. I pray for the dead and the wounded, and express my closeness to their families and the entire Iraq community.”

Last April, Pope Francis kissed the feet of two opposing South Sudanese leaders when they travelled to the Vatican. In November, he made the announcement he would like to travel to South Sudan in March 2020, so long as the country's new government is functioning per the peace agreement.

“With the memory still alive from the spiritual retreat for the Authorities of the Country, held in the Vatican last April, I wish to renew my invitation to all the actors of the national political process to seek what unites and to overcome what divides.”

He was also invited to visit Hungary, where there's a chance he will beatify Card. József Mindszenty. This cardinal was imprisoned in the 1950s for speaking against the communist regime.

A trip to Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea are also visible in the pope's future. Although these destinations are uncertain, 2020 promises many papal trips.

Rachel Dobrzynski