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Media speculate on Pope's visit next year

Oct. 17, 2013

Speculation is rife in Indian media over a possible visit of Pope Francis to India by the end of next year. The Jesuit pope "might visit India" in November 2014 and is expected to attend the exposition of St Francis Xavier's mortal remains in Goa, said ibnlive.in.com. The site based its report on unmanned "sources in the Catholic Church." It also said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) says it is "not aware of any such plan" of papal visit. Quoting Archbishop of Bombay Cardinal Oswald Gracias some Malayalam newspapers are saying that the Pope may visit India.

Cardinal Gracias is also the President of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) and a part of the Pope's advisory counsel. In April and July some newspapers quoted officials of Bom Jesu cathedral to say that pope could visit the Goa cathedral, where Jesuit saint's mortal remains are kept. The exposition of St Francis Xavier is also happening in Nov 22, 2014 to Jan 4, 2015. The dates were announced on Wednesday. Next year also marks 50 years since Pope John VI, who had addressed a 'Eucharistic Congress' in 1964 in Mumbai. The last Pope to visit India was the Pope John Paul II. He made two official visits to India during his papacy. India has about 20 million Catholics, whose supreme religious leader is the Pope.

Source: UCAN



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