Pope heading to Thailand to encourage Catholic minority

National News

Pope Francis sits in an airplane at the Rome Leonardo da Vinci airport, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Pope Francis’ three-day visit to Thailand, followed by three days in Japan, will be a welcome break for the 82-year-old pope. He is enduring fresh opposition from Catholic conservatives in the U.S. over his just-concluded meeting on the Amazon as well as a new financial scandal at home. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is heading to Thailand to encourage members of a minority Catholic community in a Buddhist nation and highlight his admiration for their missionary ancestors who brought the faith centuries ago and endured persecution.

After an overnight flight, Francis arrives in Bangkok on Wednesday afternoon and will rest for the remainder of the day before his first full day of public appearances on Thursday.

Francis’ three-day visit, followed by three days in Japan, will be a welcome break for the 82-year-old pope. He is enduring fresh opposition from Catholic conservatives in the U.S. over his just-concluded meeting on theAmazon as well as a new financial scandal at home.

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