The Vatican

Pope Francis to travel to Kazakhstan

Despite the tiredness that Pope Francis has shown in recent weeks, he has finally decided to travel to Kazakhstan next September.

Javier Garcia-August 1, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes

In the foreground Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office. ©CNS photo/Paul Haring

The director of the Vatican press room, Matteo Bruni, has announced that Pope Francis will travel to Kazakhstan from September 13 to 15. Invited by the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, the Pope will make a pastoral visit and will also participate in the VIIth Congress of World and Traditional Religionsin the city of Nur-Sultan.

At the press conference on his return trip from Canada, Pope Francis commented on his willingness to make this trip: "Kazakhstan, for the moment, I would like to go: it is a quiet trip, without so much movement, it is a Congress of Religions," he said.

Objectives of the congress

The congress aims to collaborate in the establishment of peace, tolerance among religions, confessions, nations and ethnic groups. To this end, it cooperates with international organizations and structures aimed at promoting dialogue between religions, cultures and civilizations. Among its objectives is "to prevent the prevalence of the thesis of the clash of civilizations, expressed in the opposition of religions and the increased politicization of theological disputes, as well as attempts to discredit one religion by another".

Three months ago Omnes had the opportunity to interview Monsignor José Luis MumbielaBishop of Almaty, Kazakhstan's most populous city, and president of the country's bishops' conference. On that occasion he underlined the enthusiasm that the trip aroused for Catholics: "For the Catholic Church it is always a joy. An ordinary Father does not need special reasons to see his children. He is always welcome. But obviously, the historical circumstances of Kazakhstan and countries close to Kazakhstan (Ukraine, Russia) make this trip very significant. Taking advantage of the International Congress, which seeks precisely to promote peace and harmony between religions and different cultures. It is precisely what the Pope wants to spread, in a world that is suffering the complete opposite. The historical circumstances are conducive to this. It is a very beautiful coincidence".

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