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Inside the VaticanSeptember 08, 2023
Pope Francis greets a child as he arrives at the inauguration of the House of Mercy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the final event of his four-day trip to Mongolia before returning to Rome Sept. 4, 2023. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Gerry traveled to Mongolia with Pope Francis from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. On the premiere episode of this sixth season of “Inside the Vatican”Gerry and Colleen analyze the pope’s trip to the world’s most sparsely-populated country and the message he sought to deliver there.

On the second part of the show, the hosts turn to the pope’s controversial comments aboard his papal flights to and from Mongolia. Pope Francis told journalists informally on his way to Ulaanbaatar that his American critics, who had been offended by the pope calling them “backward” in Portugal, needed to “move on.” He was asked again about his critics on the return trip, when he also answered a question from Gerry about a potential papal visit to Vietnam.

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A few more stories from this week:

Aboard the papal plane on Sept. 4, Pope Francis also clarified the comments he had made to young people from Russia when he encouraged them to be proud of their heritage. The pope said that he “was not thinking about imperialism but about culture and the transmission of culture, which is never imperial.” On Sept. 6, a group of Ukrainian bishops met with the pope and told him his statements were “painful and difficult.” The pope responded that he is “with the Ukrainian people.”

Pope Francis announced in late August that he was working on a follow-up to Laudato Si, his environmental encyclical, “to update it on current problems.” The document is expected to be released on Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Then, on Sept. 7, news broke that a document that was thought to be lost had been rediscovered in the archives of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. The document lists the names of 3,600 Jews who were sheltered in Catholic religious institutions in Rome during the Nazi occupation of the city during World War II; 3,200 of the names have been verified.

Links from the show:

China forbids Catholic bishops and faithful from joining Pope Francis in Mongolia

Chinese Catholics among those who welcome Pope Francis during Mongolia visit

Pope Francis hosts interreligious gathering as he concludes memorable visit to Mongolia

Pope Francis caused a stir by quoting Teilhard de Chardin. Here’s what you need to know about the ‘often misunderstood’ Jesuit.

Pope Francis: Synod proceedings will be secret to avoid ideology and gossip

Pope Francis: The grace of meeting a humble and joyful church in Mongolia

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