“How I want a poor church; a poor church for the poor” - these were the words that Pope Francis used at the start of his pontificate to make clear his plans for the church. His decision to visit Sri Lanka and the Philippines is confirmation of his view of the church.
Beginning January 13, the pope visits two countries on the peripheries in different ways. In Sri Lanka, Christians account for about 8 percent of the population and have lived through years of war. Catholics in the Philippines are the majority, but face trials none the less. In recent years natural disasters like Hurricane Yolanda have battered the nation, leaving many homeless and without family.
In Sri Lanka Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Joseph Vaz, a moment for which Sri Lankan Catholics have long waited. The second leg of his journey will take Pope Francis to the Philippines where he will meet survivors of Hurricane Yolanda and visit church organizations that work day in, day out, to help the weakest and poorest in the region.
Live coverage of the Pope's visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines begins Tuesday, January 13 at 10:00 pm ET / 7:00 pm PT with a mass and canonization of the blessed Joseph Vaz. Click here
for full broadcast schedule of the Pope's visit.