Pope Francis’s 10th foreign trip will be the longest of his pontificate, Fr Federico Lombardi has said
Pope Francis’ 10th foreign trip will be the longest of his pontificate and, with stops in Cuba, three US cities and the United Nations, it also will be a “very complex trip,” the papal spokesman said.
Briefing reporters about the trip, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the plans were “enriched” after Pope Francis agreed to go to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and, particularly, after the United States and Cuba announced they were moving toward normalising diplomatic relations.
The Pope will be away from the Vatican from September 19 to 28 and is scheduled to give 26 formal speeches — only four of them entirely in English, Fr Lombardi said. The all-English texts are prepared for Pope Francis’s visit to the White House on September 23, his address to a joint meeting of Congress on September 24, his meeting with UN staff members on September 25 and his thank you to trip organisers in Philadelphia on September 27.
His address to the UN General Assembly will be entirely in Spanish, Fr Lombardi said. Other speeches in the United States either will be in Spanish or a mixture of Spanish and English, but translations will be provided.
The spokesman noted that not only will Pope Francis be the first pope to visit the US Congress, but papal speeches to parliaments of any single nation are extremely rare.
by Cindy Wooden