EventsEventsPodcasts
Loader

Find Us

ADVERTISEMENT

Pope Francis lands in Ulaanbaatar at start of historic visit to Mongolia

Pope Francis is received by the Foreign Minister of Mongolia, Batmunkh Battsetseg, right, as he arrives at Ulaanbaatar's International airport Chinggis Khaan, Friday, Sept. 1,
Pope Francis is received by the Foreign Minister of Mongolia, Batmunkh Battsetseg, right, as he arrives at Ulaanbaatar's International airport Chinggis Khaan, Friday, Sept. 1, Copyright Andrew Medichini/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Andrew Medichini/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

The former Soviet country has fewer than 1,500 Roman Catholics

ADVERTISEMENT

Pope Francis arrived Friday in Mongolia for a visit to one of the world’s smallest and newest Catholic communities.

Francis landed in the Mongol capital Ulaanbaatar where he was welcomed by honour guards and state officials.

It is the first papal visit to the Asian country at a time when the Vatican’s relations with Mongolia's two powerful neighbours Russia and China are once again strained.

Francis will take the remainder of the day off to rest before his official programme begins on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters en route to Mongolia late Thursday, Francis said he was looking forward to visiting a country that has just a few people, but with a culture that you need your senses to understand.

His schedule involves official meetings with the Mongolian president and prime minister, a speech before the Mongolian government, and cultural and business leaders, followed by Francis' first encounter with the bishops, priests and nuns who form the backbone of a tiny Catholic community of 1,450 that has only been in existence for a generation.

While Christianity has been present in the region for hundreds of years, the Catholic Church has only had a sanctioned presence in Mongolia since 1992, after the country shrugged off its Soviet-allied communist government and enshrined religious freedom in its constitution.

The Holy See and Mongolia have had diplomatic relations ever since, and a handful of missionary religious orders including Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity have nurtured the tiny community through its first three decades of life.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Message in the sky over Italy’s beaches spreads conspiracy theory on Francis being the ‘anti-pope’

Pope praises Mongolia as China shuns history

Pope Francis opens clinic on 1st papal visit to Mongolia. He says it's about charity not conversion