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Vatican City

Yearbook 2019

Vatican City. After seven years as the leader of the Catholic Church and at the age of 82, Pope Francis continued his unremitting journey in the world during the year. Often the trips have gone to small countries on the periphery of the Catholic Church. It is in some of the countries in Africa and Asia that Catholicism is growing fastest. According to CountryAAH, the Pope's travel patterns have clearly shown how gravitational centers are increasingly moving from the historical base in Europe.

2019 Vatican City

During the year, the Pope also visited two countries where the number of Christians is less than 1% of the population: Thailand and Japan. During the visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pope Francis announced that he now intends to incorporate resistance to the possession of nuclear weapons in the official teaching of the Catholic Church.

Common to the message during all the Pope's travels have been his heart topics: the climate issue, the situation of migrants and the fight against poverty. The Pope's radical message has made him controversial, not least in the United States, but also at home. Conservative forces within the Vatican also look with unblinking eyes on what they regard as Pope Francis's overly generous approach to homosexuals and divorced. His simple lifestyle and attempts to clear up the Vatican's business have also seemed provocative.

During the year, pedophile scandals among the men of the church continued to occupy much of the pope's time and energy. Francis inherited the issue when he took office seven years ago and the revelations do not seem to end. The pope is initially considered to have underestimated the phenomenon but later came to realize the extent of the abuse of thousands of children around the world. One of the Vatican's tops, Australian Cardinal George Bell, was sentenced during the year to prison for committed child molestation. At the beginning of the year, the Pope hosted a summit at the Vatican, where bishops from all over the world drew the lines for a common front against an abusive culture of a worldwide scale.

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