Pope Francis To Visit India, Bangladesh In 2017

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ROME – Pope Francis will visit Portugal next year and is “almost sure” he’ll go to India and Bangladesh.

Still to be determined is where in Africa he’ll visit and whether Colombia’s peace accord is “certain, certain, certain” enough to enable a papal visit. Francis outlined his 2017 travel plans while flying home from Azerbaijan on Sunday. Complicating his travel schedule is that next year is already full of appointments with visiting bishops whose 2016 visits were put off due to Francis’ Holy Year of Mercy, which ends in November.

But Francis confirmed that as of now, he planned a May 13 trip to the famed Marian shrine at Fatima in Portugal.

India and Bangladesh were planned as well and an Africa trip was under study. The destination depends on weather conditions, time of year and regional political and conflict situations, he said.

Francis had said previously he would visit Colombia if the government and rebels reached a peace accord. Colombians voted yesterday in a referendum to enshrine the accord ending Latin America’s longest-running conflict.