Pope Francis to visit Singapore from Sept 11 to 13; will also stop over in Indonesia on Sept 3


Pope Francis’ visit to Singapore is part of a 12-day tour of the Asia-Pacific region. - PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): Pope Francis will visit Singapore from Sept 11 to 13, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore confirmed on April 12.

The Pope will also celebrate mass, which is tentatively set to take place on Sept 12.

In a statement on its website, the Archdiocese said it was sharing the news of the Pope’s visit, which was confirmed by The Holy See, with great “jubilation and thanksgiving”.

Cardinal William Goh, the Archbishop of Singapore, said of the visit: “It has been 38 years since we had a visit from the Vicar of Christ to Singapore, when Pope St John Paul II honoured us with a visit on 20 November 1986.

“It is my hope that this visit of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, will bring renewed fervour to all Catholics in Singapore, uniting them in faith and mission, especially in these most challenging of times.”

The Archdiocese statement added: “As we prepare for His Holiness’ visit, let us, as a community, pray for the continued health and safety of the Holy Father and ask the Lord to grant us a truly meaningful and grace-filled visit.”

Earlier on April 2, a spokesman for Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Singapore welcomes a visit by Pope Francis.”

The tour, which had been earlier scheduled for August, will mark only the second papal visit to Singapore.

The Singapore Government, the Holy See and local church officials are discussing details of Pope Francis’ visit.

More information about the visit will be released progressively to the public at www.popefrancis2024.sg

There are about 243,000 Roman Catholics in Singapore, according to the 2020 census.

Pope Francis’ visit to Singapore is part of a 12-day tour of the Asia-Pacific region.

He will also visit Jakarta in Indonesia from Sept 3 to 6, Port Moresby and Vanimo in Papua New Guinea from Sept 6 to 9, and Dili in Timor-Leste from Sept 9 to 11, according to the Vatican.

Reports of an Asia-Pacific tour first appeared in January in two Catholic media outlets: America and EWTN Vatican.

On March 31, Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas confirmed that Pope Francis would visit Indonesia on Sept 3.

Outgoing Indonesian President Joko Widodo reportedly invited the pontiff to visit Indonesia – which has the world’s largest Muslim population, numbering about 242 million – in June 2022, as part of efforts to promote religious tolerance.

The last papal visit to Singapore was almost 40 years ago, when the late Pope John Paul II drew thousands of Roman Catholics during a brief stopover in 1986, which lasted just five hours.

In January 2022, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong was granted a brief audience with Pope Francis during a working visit to the Vatican City. His visit was to reaffirm bilateral ties with the city-state and came a month after the Roman Catholic Church marked its 200th anniversary in Singapore. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , Pope Francis , Visit , Singapore , Sept 11-13

   

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