Since he was elected Pontiff in 2013, Francisco has paid special attention to the new generations. In his apostolic journeys he never forgets to celebrate an act with them, like the one he organized in the Chilean Sanctuary of Maipu on his trip to Chile and Peru in JanuaryThe Pope Francis meets tomorrow five years as pontiff and does so with an eye on some of the major events this year, including the World Meeting of Families in Ireland in August and the Synod of Bishops on youth the Vatican in October.
In addition, after canonizing Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II in 2014, Francis has just signed the decrees necessary to elevate Pope Paul VI and the archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Arnulfo Romero, known to all as “the Holy America “and brutally assassinated in 1980 when he celebrated mass.
At the moment there is no scheduled date for these sanctifications, although possibilities are being considered such as being organized in the Vatican after the Synod of Bishops – convened from October 3 to 28 – or that the canonization of Archbishop Romero will be in San Salvador next year, during the trip that Francisco will make to Panama for the World Youth Day.
More immediate in the calendar is the preshodal meeting that will host in Rome between March 19 and 24 more than 300 young people from all over the world, from various religions and also non-believers, to prepare the October Synod of Bishops that will be dedicated to youth.
Since he was elected pontiff in 2013, after the resignation of Benedict XVI, Francisco has paid special attention to the new generations, proof of this is that in his apostolic journeys he never forgets to celebrate an act with them, like the one he organized this year in the Chilean Sanctuary of Maipú on his trip to Chile and Peru in January.
The idea of the October Synod will be to know the lifestyles and concerns of the new generations so that the Catholic Church tries to adapt its language and the use of new technologies and get closer to them.
This will be the second Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that takes place during the pontificate of Francisco, after the Synod on the Family of 2015, although one year before, in 2014, Jorge Bergoglio already called an extraordinary Synod on this same issue.
The defense of the family has been a matter of great importance for Francisco in these five years because, as he has pointed out on numerous occasions, it generates strong bonds that are the best antidote against individualism.
For this reason, another of the great events that it has convened for this 2018 is the IX World Encounter of Families that will take place in Dublin from August 21 to 26, a celebration that was inaugurated by John Paul II in October 1994.
At the moment there is no confirmation from the Vatican about Francisco’s attendance, although the Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, assured in November 2016 that the Pope will attend this event.
If confirmed, Francisco will be the second pontiff to visit Ireland, after the historic journey that John Paul II made in 1979, when he came to gather more than one million people in the Dublin Park Phoenix.
This would be added to the trips he has already made since 2013 to Brazil, Turkey, South Korea, the Holy Land, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama, Cuba, the United States, Mexico or more recently Burma (Myanmar) and Bangladesh, among others.
Francisco is already scheduled to travel to Geneva on June 21, in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), which deals with ecumenical dialogue between different Christian realities.
And between September 22 and 25, he will visit Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in a new step towards the Orthodox and Russia.
This gesture will follow the historic meeting held by Pope Francis and the Russian Orthodox patriarch Cyril in 2016 in Havana, the first of the leaders of the two churches since the Great Schism of 1054.
In the last five years, Bergoglio has strived to build bridges and among his diplomatic successes stands out the thaw, in which he mediated, between Cuba and the United States in 2014, or the unprecedented meeting that same year in the Vatican of the presidents of Israel, Simón Peres, and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Mahmud Abás.
His character as a mediating and conciliatory Pope has led him to defend dialogue and reconciliation in countries such as Venezuela and Colombia, and has also condemned child exploitation, human trafficking, possession of nuclear weapons, wars and jihadist terrorism.
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