“I am always ready to go to China”, says Pope Francis

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O Pope Francis said this Tuesday (13) that he is willing to go to China anytime, but has “no news” to offer due to speculation he may meet with the Chinese president. Xi Jinping during a papal visit to Kazakhstan this week.

Speaking to reporters accompanying him on his flight to the Central Asian republic, Francis was asked if he could meet Xi in his capital Nur-Sultan, where the two will be on Wednesday.

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“I have no news about it,” the pope replied. “I’m always ready to go to China.”

Francis has tried to ease historically bad relations between the Holy See and China and told Reuters in an interview in July that he hoped to renew a secret and disputed agreement on the appointment of Roman Catholic bishops in China.

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Xi is visiting Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan from September 14-16 on his first official trip to a foreign country since China virtually closed its borders due to Covid-19.

Francis will be in Kazakhstan until Thursday for a peace meeting of world religious leaders marred by the conspicuous absence of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who supports the war in Ukraine.

Kirill was expected to attend the Seventh Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, and Francis has said several times that he was willing to speak with him.

Francisco, who suffers from a knee condition, used a cane to walk around the plane greeting reporters, as he often does on these trips. He looked like he was in pain as he returned to his own seat.

(Written by Gavin Jones; edited by Ed Osmond)

Source: CNN Brasil

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