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Abu Dhabi, but not Argentina?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Dec 06, 2018

Today’s announcement that Pope Francis will soon visit the United Arab Emirates rekindles my interest in another question about papal travel.

Pope John Paul II visited his native Poland less than a year after his election. Pope Benedict XVI traveled to his native Germany just a few months after ascending Peter’s throne. But more than five years into his pontificate, Pope Francis has not returned to Argentina. Why not? I don’t have the answer to that question, but as the months pass, the question becomes more interesting.

Pope Francis has visited 40 different countries, including several in South America. If you look at this map of his travel destinations, you notice that Argentina stands out, hemmed in by neighbors that have received a papal visit.

I am not trying to suggest anything. I don’t have an explanation—not even a hypothesis. I simply note that this is curious.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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