Francis will be seeing flocks of faithful where the Vatican's handling of sex abuse cases has fueled bitter criticism
, photo: AP/Alik Keplicz
19 of June 2017 13:37:33
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis will visit Chile and Peru in 2018, the Vatican announced Monday.The Holy See said Francis will visit Chile from Jan. 15-18, then head to Peru, where he'll stay until Jan. 21. The cities on the Argentine-born pontiff's itinerary include Santiago, Temuco and Iquique in Chile and Lima, Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo in Peru, with details of his schedule to be announced later.Puerto Maldonado is the capital city of Peru's Madre de Dios region, an epicenter of illegal gold mining, a lucrative business which feeds criminal activity such as sex trafficking, including of minors. Francis in his papacy has repeatedly denounced trafficking and the exploitation of children.Trujillo is the capital city of Peru's La Libertad region, which in the first months of 2017 was hit by floods and mudslides that killed 106 people and left countless more homeless.The Holy See said Francis had accepted invitations from the heads of state and local bishops.Francis is scheduled to visit another South American country, Colombia, this year in September but a hoped-for trip to South Sudan this year has been called off. And planning is behind schedule for a trip to India, raising doubts it will take place in 2017, said Vatican spokesman Greg Burke.In his voyage in January — summer time in Chile and Peru — Francis will be seeing flocks of faithful where the Vatican's handling of sex abuse cases has fueled bitter criticism.