Last week, there were rumors Pope Francis could meet with the President of China Xi Jinping in Kazakhstan.

On his flight to the country, Pope Francis said he didn’t “have any news” whether he would meet Jinping.

However, he added that he’s “always ready to go to China.”

If either happened, it would be the first ever diplomatic meeting or visit between the Holy See and Chinese government.

It wasn’t brought up on his first day in Kazakhstan, though.

Pope Francis called himself a “pilgrim of peace” to the country, paying a customary visit to the presidential palace.

Addressing the president, civil authorities, and diplomatic corps, he said protecting religious freedom is “the best channel for civil coexistence.”

“May the memory of the sufferings and trials you endured be an indispensable part of your journey towards the future, inspiring you to give absolute priority to human dignity, the dignity of every man and woman, and of every ethnic, social, and religious group.

I express deep appreciation for this country’s decisive repudiation of nuclear weapons and its efforts to develop energy and environmental policies centered on decreased dependence on carbon fuel and on investment in clean sources of energy.” 

🙏 Pray for Holy See-China relations!

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