SINGAPORE: Pope Francis is expected to visit Singapore as part of a trip to Asia later this year, with officials from Singapore and the Holy See in discussions on the proposed visit. 

According to Archbishop Paul R Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, the Pope’s trip to Singapore, Indonesia, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea would take place in September. 

Vietnam could be added to the list, he said in a Mar 26 article by America magazine, which is published by the Jesuits in the United States. 

In January, two other Catholic publications – EWTN Vatican and Radio Veritas Asia – reported that the Pope is likely to visit Singapore in August. 

“Singapore welcomes a visit by Pope Francis,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Tuesday evening (Apr 2) in response to CNA’s query.

“Officials from Singapore and the Holy See are in discussion on the proposed visit.”

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore told CNA earlier on Tuesday that while it is aware of the “unconfirmed reports” by the various Catholic publications, it had no confirmation at the time that the Pope is coming to Singapore. 

The last time a pope visited Singapore was in 1986 when John Paul II made a five-hour stop as part of his Asia-Pacific tour that included Bangladesh, New Zealand and Australia. 

Thousands attended a papal mass at the National Stadium on Nov 20, 1986.

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