Will Pope Francis visit North Korea?

The Vatican is preparing for a possible trip of Pope Francis to North Korea, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Archbishop Lazarus You Heung-sik said.

Newsroom (November 3, 2021, 11:40 PM, Gaudium Press) Last October 29, during the meeting between Francis and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the latter asked that the Pontiff go to North Korea to bring peace to the two nations. Francis replied that he would go if he received an official request from the North Korean authorities.

Whether a trip to North Korea will happen or not, only the future will tell. But according to the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Monsignor Lazarus You Heung-sik, the Vatican is organizing for a possible visit by the pope to the eastern country.

“It is a fact that the Holy See is striving to create circumstances in different ways so that the Pontiff can go to North Korea,” Monsignor You confirmed.

The Prefect of the Congregation for Clerics confirmed that there was a meeting between Vatican officials and the North Korean embassy in Rome.

In a press interview, Monsignor Lazarus You stated that he was moved when he learned of the Pope’s willingness to go to the peninsula. He has been praying for this intention ever since.

However, Monsignor Lazare You explained that regardless of the visit, the Vatican is able to give humanitarian aid to North Korea

This is not the first time that there has been talk of a possible papal visit to North Korea. In 2018, Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president conveyed to Pope Francis an oral invitation from Kin Jong-un to visit North Korea. Francis said he was ready to go if he received an official request. The trip never happened.

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If the trip does take place, this will be the first time a Pope has visited one of the most isolated countries in the world.

No religion can be publicly manifested in North Korea. Although the North Korean constitution allows for religious freedom, as long as the religion practiced does not interfere with state decisions. (FM)

Compiled by Zephania Gangl

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