SOUTH KOREA- Hopes are running high in the Catholic community in Korea that Pope Francis may visit Korea this year, his first visit as a pontiff to the region and the first papal visit to the country in 25 years, if realised.
Multiple media outlets reported Tuesday that the pope is highly likely to come and that the visit could be scheduled for one of two Catholic events taking place here in August and October.
The Asia Youth Day, scheduled to be held in August in Daejeon, south of Seoul, is expected to draw hundreds of young Catholic believers from around Asia. The Korean Catholic Church hopes for a beatification ceremony for Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 companions to take place around October.
"A request for a papal visit was sent but there has been no reply yet. So there is nothing final about the pope's visit here," the Catholic Bishop's Conference of Korea said Tuesday.
If Pope Francis comes to Korea, it will be the first papal visit since Pope John Paul II in 1989.