|Pope Francis meets Korean Catholic priests in the Vatican City in August last year. (Yonhap)|
The pope will meet the president and attend an international gathering by Catholics from Asian countries to be held in Daejeon during his five-day visit.
“The upcoming visit by Pope Francis, a symbolic figure of (someone who has lived) a poor but honest life and (upheld) neighborliness, will be an opportunity to deliver the message of love and peace to the northeast Asian region,” the presidential office said in a statement.
Catholicism is now the third-largest faith in Korea. Earlier this year, Seoul Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung was named a cardinal, becoming the third Korean to reach the second-highest post in the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis’ only officially scheduled overseas trip this year is a three-day pilgrimage in late May to Jordan, Israel and the West Bank. The papal trip to Seoul will be the first since 1989, when Pope John Paul II visited.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org)