Pope John Paul II is planning to visit a number of Asian countries this year during an expected trip to present the post-synodal exhortation for last year's Synod for Asia, the Vatican spokesperson says.
    UCA News quotes Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls' revelation that a heavy papal travel program for the rest of 1999 will include a trip to Asia, probably in late October or November.
    He said that will involve stops in "a number of countries". While still in the planning stage, Navarro-Valls indicated that places under consideration include India, Macao and Hong Kong.
    Other sources say that a visit to Indonesia is not be to excluded, but that much would depend on political developments in the coming months in the world's largest Muslim country. A visit to the Philippines is also a possibility, and it is known that the South Korean bishops would like the Holy Father to visit their country too, the sources said.
    A long-awaited visit to Vietnam will come in due course but seems unlikely to take place in 1999, the sources added, observing that the dialogue between the Holy See and Vietnam is progressing well but still needs time.

12:50pm 24/5/99 / UCA News


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