WelCom February 2024
Pope Francis plans to visit Oceania for the first time this year, confirming in a televised interview he has several foreign trips planned for 2024, including a trip to Melanesia in August and a potential visit to Argentina.
In the interview, Pope Francis said he is in good health and has no plans to resign. The Pope said, ‘It’s neither a thought nor a concern nor even a desire.’ He jested in the interview that ‘I’m still alive’, despite several health challenges last year, including two hospital stays and a recent bout of bronchitis that forced him to cancel a planned trip to Dubai in December for the COP28 UN climate summit.
On Argentina, a trip that would mark his first return visit since his election, he said, ‘I want to go, it’s been ten years. I would like to go.’
The PNG Government has since announced Pope Francis will make a ‘three-day visit’ to the country in August. The trip is expected to be part of a broader ten-day tour in the region, including Indonesia and East Timor, starting around August 21. It would be the 87-year-old pope’s longest trip since the start of his pontificate in 2013.