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Pope could still visit Asia, says Vatican

  • Alessandro Speciale, Vatican
  • Vatican City
  • March 22, 2012
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Pope Benedict XVI has not ruled out a visit to East Asia, despite the rigors of such a trip for the 84-year-old pontiff, according to a Vatican official.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, told the Italian newspaper La Stampa that the pope “has often thought about a trip to Asia and examined the possibility of visiting those Asian countries where he has often been invited and that he deeply loves.”

He added, “Naturally, traveling in Asia is demanding, but it has not been ruled out a priori."

Cardinal Bertone said despite recent tensions between the Holy See and China, “there are still contacts with China and dialogue has not been severed, even if it is difficult and on an on-and-off basis.”

He said the Chinese Catholic community “is vital and loves the Pope and the Church, and is intimately connected with the Universal Church.
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