The Pope’s journey to Thailand and Japan


The Pope goes down to the Tokyo airport

On November 23rd, Pope Francis landed in Japan at 17.25 PM (local hour), where he spent four days in Thailand, starting November 19th.  The Pope will remain in Japan until November 26th.

“I pray that Almighty God will guarantee you well-being and peace”: these are the words of Pope Francis to Carrie Lam, governor of Hong Kong. Thus in the telegram sent at the time of the overflight in the section that brings the pontiff from Bangkok to Tokyo. No explicit reference to the current crisis. Telegrams from the Pope also came to Xi Jinping, president of China and Tsai Ing-Wen, president of Taiwan. “Abundant blessings of peace and joy”, the wish addressed to the head of state of China. “I invoke abundant divine blessings of peace” in the text for Taiwan.

The Pope, visiting Japan, with the emperor Naruhito has dealt with issues related to the environment, especially the issue of water. The Pontiff, according to sources in the Imperial Palace, explained that it is difficult to solve the problem of the environment because it is linked to the economy. For Pope Francis the next war could be caused by a conflict over water.

The first official appointment is with the bishops of the Bishops’ Conference of Japan, which he met in the refectory of the pontifical representation. “I am very happy for the gift of visiting Japan and for the welcome you gave me,” said the Pope. “I don’t know if you know, but since I was young I felt sympathy and affection for these lands – he said – “Many years have passed since that missionary impulse, whose realization was long overdue. Today the Lord offers me the opportunity to be among you as a missionary pilgrim in the footsteps of great witnesses to the faith.”



Tuesday, November 19, 2019


19:00 Departure by plane from Rome / Fiumicino Airport to Bangkok
Meeting of the Holy Father with journalists during the direct flight to Bangkok


Wednesday, November 20, 2019


12:30 Arrival at the Military Air Terminal 2 in Bangkok
12:30 Official reception at the Military Air Terminal 2 in Bangkok
Video message from the Holy Father recorded in the Nunciature, addressed to Thai youth


Thursday, 21 November 2019


9:00 am Welcome ceremony in the courtyard of Government House
9:15 Meeting with the Prime Minister in the “Inner Ivory Room” of the Government House
9:30 Meeting with the Authorities, with the Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps in the “Inner Santi Maitri” Room of the Government House
10:00 Visit to the Supreme Patriarch of the Buddhists at the Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram Temple
11:15 Meeting with the Medical Staff of St. Louis Hospital
12:00 Private visit to the sick and disabled at St. Louis Hospital
Lunch in the Apostolic Nunciature
17:00 Private Visit to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn “Rama X” at the Amphorn Royal Palace
18:00 Holy Mass in the National Stadium


Friday, November 22, 2019


10:00 Meeting with Priests, Religious, Seminarians and Catechists in the Parish of St. Peter
11:00 Meeting with the Bishops of Thailand and the FABC in the Sanctuary of Blessed Nicolas Bunkerd Kitbamrung
11:50 Private meeting with the Members of the Society of Jesus in a room adjacent to the Sanctuary
Lunch in the Apostolic Nunciature
15:20 Meeting with Christian and other religions leaders at Chulalongkorn University
17:00 Mass with the young people in the Cathedral of the Assumption


Saturday, November 23, 2019


9:15 Farewell ceremony at the Military Air Terminal 2 in Bangkok
9:30 Departure by plane to Tokyo
17:40 Arrive at Tokyo Haneda Airport
17:40 Welcome ceremony at Tokyo Haneda Airport
18:30 Meeting with the Bishops in the Apostolic Nunciature


Sunday, November 24, 2019


7:20 Departure by plane to Nagasaki
9:20 am Arrival at Nagasaki Airport
10:15 am Nuclear weapons message at the Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park
10:45 Tribute to the Holy Martyrs at the Martyrs’ Monument – Nishizaka Hill
Lunch in the Archbishopric
14:00 Holy Mass at the Baseball Stadium
16:35 Departure by plane to Hiroshima
17:45 Arrival at Hiroshima Airport
18:40 Meeting for peace at the Peace Memorial
20:25 Departure by plane to Tokyo
9:50 pm Arrival at Tokyo-Haneda Airport


Monday, 25 November 2019


10:00 Meeting with the victims of the triple disaster at “Bellesalle Hanzomon”
Private visit to Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace
11:45 Meeting with young people in the Cathedral of Santa Maria
Lunch with the Papal entourage in the Apostolic Nunciature
16:00 Holy Mass in the Tokyo Dome
Meeting with the Prime Minister in Kantei
Meeting with the Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps in Kantei


Tuesday, 26 November 2019


7:45 Holy Mass in private with the Members of the Society of Jesus in the Chapel of the Kulturzentrum of Sophia University
Breakfast and private meeting with the Maximum College in Sophia University
9:40 Visit to the elderly and sick priests in Sophia University
10:00 Visit to Sophia University
11:20 Farewell ceremony at Tokyo Haneda Airport
11:35 am Departure by plane to Rome / Fiumicino
17:15 Arrival at Rome / Fiumicino airport

Time zone
Rome: + 1h UTC
Bangkok: + 7h UTC
Tokyo: + 9h UTC
Nagasaki: + 9h UTC
Hiroshima: + 9h UTC

The Pope’s journey to Africa – Two reflections on his pontificate

POPE in Africa (Madacascar) Photo ANSA


In these days the Pope is traveling to Africa.
The program includes visits to three countries: Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius. In addition, the Pope will meet young people, authorities and clergy but also AIDS patients and survivors of epidemics. Only another pope had been in Africa: Pope John Paul II in May 1989.

Pope Francis’ journey will last 7 days: from 4 to 10 September!



The pontificate of Pope Francis lives all in all with conflicting opinions, although mainly favorable, probably due to his warmer charisma than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

The problem of immigration, which is at the center of politics due to the serious problems of hospitality that Italy has to face every day, puts the pontificate of Pope Francis in serious difficulty, which since the beginning has always supported maximum acceptance without if and without but. A philosophy that many people certainly don’t like.

Beyond the issue of immigration, there is always the problem of pedophilia, which in spite of everything in recent years has spoken little about it, even if the subject is always alive among the people.
I must say that despite the many problems that exist in Italy, Pope Francis has been able to capture the sympathy of the people, confirming the greatness (and at the same time the humility) of his name more in words than in deeds.

The image of the Pope in Italy is completely different from the one he has abroad. It is obvious that in the Latin American countries the popularity of the Pope is out of the question and when there is a journey the Pope gathers millions of faithful.
In Anglo-Saxon countries instead. the Pope’s popularity is minor. Moreover, most of the scandals or investigations into pedophilia come from the Anglo-Saxon countries.

Although the Pope has brought considerable innovation and openness to the church, some reforms have been harshly criticized. For example, changing – albeit slightly – the prayer of the Our Father, was for many disconcerting.

Surely the opening to the Gay or some sex taboos has benefited the church, but probably not enough. The pontificate of Pope John Paul II seems very far away.

Surely the opening to the Gay or some sex taboos has benefited the church, but probably not enough. The pontificate of Pope John Paul II seems very far away. As a tradition, the church always places itself as a stronghold before social and world evolution, to take the distance from possible drifts.

The humanity of Pope Francis is certainly that of having often come into contact with people. Many will always remember the phone calls he made at the homes of the people, who answered almost incredulously.
Judging a pontificate is very difficult. Each era has its socio-political-economic context.

In addition to the problems mentioned above, there are the perennial problems of the thousands of property units owned by the Vatican, which are largely exempt from taxes, and the remaining Vatican has outstanding debts.