Pope Francis
Last month Francis published another text on climate challenges, "Laudate Deum" ("Praise the Lord"), which called on developed economies to stop using fossil fuels. AFP

Pope Francis said he might visit his native Argentina in the second half of the year, if possible. The visit, if it happens, will be the first time the pope travels to his homeland since being elected in 2013.

While speaking to a private Italian TV channel's host Sunday, the 87-year-old pope said that he was worried about the people in his home country as they were "suffering much" due to high inflation.

"I worry because the people there are suffering a lot. It's a difficult moment for the country," he said on a talk show, "Che Tempo Che Fa," CNN reported.

He went on to share the "possibility of making a trip to Argentina in the second half of the year," soon after a visit to Polynesia in August. "I would make the trip to Argentina if it can be done. But I would like to go."

During the interview, the pope also spoke about his health and vowed to remain in the office as long as he can serve, adding that stepping down from the position was "not at the center of my thoughts."

In the hour-long interview, he also mentioned the ongoing crises in Ukraine and the Middle East, hinting at Gaza.

"This escalation of war frightens me, this taking of warlike steps in the world, one wonders how it will end, with atomic weapons now destroying everything, how will we end up, like Noah's ark?" he questioned. "That scares me, the capacity for self-destruction that humanity has today."

Pope Francis' comments on visiting Argentina came just a few days after President Javier Milei of Argentina sent him a formal invitation to visit his homeland.

The president said the pope's trip "will bring fruits of pacification and brotherhood of all Argentines, eager to overcome our divisions and confrontations" and emphasized that his presence and message in his homeland will "contribute to the long-desired unity of all our compatriots" and "provide us with the collective strength necessary to preserve our peace and work for the prosperity and enlargement of our beloved Argentine Republic."

The pope went through an abdominal operation last year in June and antibiotic treatment in March.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.