Vatican unveils details of papal visit to Mongolia

The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis, who is still recovering from major abdominal surgery, is going ahead with his August 31-September 4 apostolic visit to Mongolia.

The Holy See Press Office on July 6 released the full schedule of what will be the first papal trip ever to the sparsely populated East Asian nation squeezed between Russia and China, which is home to fewer than 1,500 Catholics.

Francis is to fly out of Rome on the evening of August 31, making a nine-and-a-half-hour overnight flight to the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.

He is due to arrive at Chinggis Khaan International Airport at 10 o’clock the next morning (September 1) and be officially welcomed to the country by leading government officials, but he will not officially take part in any events until the next day.

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