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Pope Francis to travel to Kazakhstan in September


The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will travel to Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan from September 13-15 to participate in the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill is also expected to attend and the two could meet each other again since their first meeting in Havana, Cuba in 2016. 

After a demanding week-long trip to Canada, the Pope said he had to limit his travel to shorter trips like the one to Kazakhstan. There, his public obligations will be limited to participating in the conference rather than making a pastoral visit among the local population. 

POPE FRANCIS
I don't think I can continue with the same pace of trips as before.

I will seek to continue to make trips and to be close to the people, because I think closeness is a form of service.

Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill's last confirmed communication came in a video call in mid-March. Since then, they had planned their second meeting to take place in June in Jerusalem, but ultimately called it off so as to avoid sending out a “confusing message” midst the war. 

JM