Pope plans to visit New York, Washington, South America, Africa in 2015

Pope Francis to meet President Obama, speak at U.N. and travel to South America, Africa in 2015

In addition to a three-city tour in the United States this year, Pope Francis will visit South America and Africa, it was reported on Monday.

The pontiff outlined his 2015 travel plans during an in-flight news conference on his way back to Rome from the Philippines.

The pope said he will visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay as well as the Central African Republic and Uganda. Details on the trip were still pending.

In the United States, Pope Francis is planning on visiting New York, Washington and Philadelphia.

Francis said he planned to canonize the 17th-century missionary Junipero Serra, who established nine missions in California, during the Washington leg of the U.S. trip. 

More details about the pope’s U.S. visit were reported over the weekend by the Catholic News Agency, which attributed plans to Archbishop Bernardito Auza, one of the organizers.

The pope will arrive in Washington on Sept. 22 and meet with President Obama at the White House the next morning, Auza told the CNA. The pontiff is expected to say Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and speak at a special joint session of Congress.

The pope will then travel to New York on Sept. 25 and speak before the United Nations, the archbishop said. He could celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden and visit ground zero as well.

From Sept. 25 to 27, the pope will take part in the World Meeting of Families conference and will say Sunday Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, events expected to draw 2 million people to the city.

The U.S. visit will be Pope Francis’ first since being chosen to lead the Catholic Church in 2013.

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