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No new foreign travel on 2013 schedule for Pope Francis

April 25, 2013

A July visit to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day (WYD) will probably be the only foreign trip by Pope Francis in 2013, the Vatican has announced.

At an April 25 briefing, the director of the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardi, advised reporters “to not expect other trips abroad this year” by the Holy Father.

Many Vatican-watchers have suggested that the new Pope might combine the trip to Brazil with a visit to his native Argentina. Father Lombardi’s statement did not exclude that possibility, but seemed to weigh against it.

Father Lombardi also said:

  • Pope Francis might write his first encyclical this year. The Vatican spokesman observed that Pope Benedict XVI had already begun drafting an encyclical on hope, hinting that Pope Francis might complete that project.
  • Pope-emeritus Benedict is expected to move into his new residence at the Vatican sometime late this month or early in May. Renovations are nearly completed at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, where the retired Pontiff will live after his current stay at Castel Gandolfo.
  • Pope Francis, meanwhile, has no plans to move into the papal apartment in the apostolic palace. He remains at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where “he is very well settled,” Father Lombardi said, and has no desire to change his residence. The Vatican spokesman added, however, that “a final decision has not been made” as to whether the Pope will remain permanently at the Vatican guest house.

Pope Benedict XVI said, shortly after his election in April 2005, that he would not attempt to rival the record for international travel set by his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II. Pope Francis has not made a similar statement, but his desire for simplicity and his penchant for avoiding spending could militate against frequent travel.


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  • Posted by: rmcollin5577 - Apr. 25, 2013 7:33 PM ET USA

    Security must be a nightmare for a Pope and the Vatican head of state at the Vatican guest house. I can't imagine they are putting up very many other guests while Pope Francis is staying there. At some point he has to move into the papal apartment. He may be humble, but he IS the Pope.