Pope Francis Sets Out For Asia

Good article that not only gives an overview and the why’s for Pope Francis trip to South Korea, but insight into why he is fascinated with the history of the church there…..it was founded and lay lead for many years.  To me, this gives an indication of the respect he has for lay people who he says as very active “protagonists” (one of his favorite words) in the life of the church..  Another interesting note: in another article I read about this trip, Francis picked just an average “worker bee”, a lay person,  from the Vatican personnel and personally invited them to accompany him.  Apparently, he has done this on all of his trips.  It amounts to a free, paid vacation for this Vatican employee.  Nice boss!!….Reyanna

By Gerard O’Connell, August 13, 2014, America Magazine On-line

On his first visit to Asia as pope, Francis is going to South Korea. He left the Rome airport at four o’clock in the afternoon (local time), today August 13, on board an Alitalia flight.

His main reason for visiting Korea is to participate in the sixth Asian Youth Day that is being held in Daejeon, the country’s fifth metropolis. But he has two other significant reasons for coming here: to beatify 124 Korean martyrs; and to pray for peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula, which has been divided since 1953 along the 38th parallel, between a Communist ruled North and a democratically governed South.

He is the third pope to visit Asia and the second (after John Paul II) to visit Korea. On the flight, he is being accompanied by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, the Cardinal President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Stanislaw Rylko, and the ‘Substitute’ of the Secretariat of State, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, together with other Vatican officials, and personal bodyguards. (To continue reading, click here.)

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