This week on “Inside the Vatican,” Gerry and I recap the pope’s visit to Thailand and Japan, which Gerry believes is “one for the history books.”
First up, in Thailand, the “land of smiles,” Pope Francis received a warm welcome. Gerry and I talk about the pope’s visits with his cousin and the leader of the nation’s Buddhists. Then, we look at the issues the pope hoped to bring to light: interreligious cooperation, migration, human trafficking, and giving Catholicism “a Thai face.”
Then, the pope traveled to Japan, where he spoke about nuclear weapons at the sites of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Gerry walks us through the moving scenes in both places, and we discuss Francis’ deep personal connections to Japan. We’ll also talk about the pope’s intention to add the immorality of nuclear weapons to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
After returning to Rome, Pope Francis met with a group of U.S. bishops from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and the bishops requested that the Vatican release its report on former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. We update you on when to expect that report.
Finally, the pope visited the site of the first recreation of the Nativity scene to encourage Catholics to put up their crèche this Advent.
Links from the show:
- What it means for Pope Francis to visit Thailand, a majority Buddhist country
- Pope Francis focuses on human trafficking, migration and religious harmony on a busy day in Thailand
- On last day in Thailand, Pope Francis tells missionaries to ‘give faith a Thai face and flesh’
- On arrival in Japan, Francis recalls ‘the unique face’ of the Japanese church
- Pope Francis at Nagasaki and Hiroshima makes impassioned plea for peace and nuclear disarmament
- Pope Francis on the Vatican finance scandal and the dual threats of violence and nuclear power
- Pennsylvania, New Jersey bishops ask Vatican for McCarrick report
- Pope Francis, at site of first nativity scene, issues letter on the importance of the crèche
Correction (Dec. 11, 2019): This article has been updated with the correct caption for the header photo. The photo shows Pope Francis greeting a crowd in Nagasaki, not participating in a moment of silence in Hiroshima as originally stated.