Pope Francis makes his first visit to an Asian country and, of course, stirs a bit of controversy.
Pope Francis sent an unprecedented message of goodwill to China on Aug 14 before touching down in Seoul, but the first papal trip to Asia in 15 years got off to a shaky start with the news that Chinese nationals had been barred from joining a youth celebration.
About half of more than 100 Chinese who had planned to attend an Asian Youth Day event during the pope’s visit are unable to attend due to “a complicated situation inside China”, Heo Young-yeop, spokesman for the Committee for the Papal Visit to Korea, told reporters.
He declined to give further details, citing their safety. Another organiser, who declined to be identified, said some of the would-be attendees had been arrested by Chinese authorities.