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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  • Posted by: seewig - Dec. 07, 2018 6:55 PM ET USA

    It is curious, but that's all it can be for now, apparently. This pope is a curious phenomenon all together. God put him there for a purpose, and we'll eventually get to find out why, as we carry on. The more our world is drifting away from Christ, the more chaos and turmoil will be the consequence. In our case, prayer and sacrifice is the main order of the day, it seems. Because nobody else will,...

  • Posted by: fenton1015153 - Dec. 07, 2018 9:55 AM ET USA

    It could be as Luke 4:24 says, "And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his home town." Or it could be that he has a vested interest in not going back to Argentina! I find it a little sad that he has not gone home but it makes me wonder if his idea of home is more than a place. I hope that if he has burned his bridge back to Argentina that he doesn't burn the bridge that leads back to orthodox Catholic.