New Delhi: The Pope Francis is likely to visit India in 2014. According to sources in the Catholic Church, the new Pope might visit India in November 2014.
The Pope is expected to attend the St Francis Xavier's exposition (happens once in every 10 years) in Goa beginning November 2014.
Next year also marks 50 years since Pope John VI th, who had addressed a 'Eucharistic Congress' in 1964, and the Indian Catholic Church is planning a similar congress when the Pope Francis arrives here. The exposition of St Francis Xavier is also happening in November 2014- the dates for which were announced on Wednesday (Nov 22, 2014-Jan 4, 2015).
However the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) says it is not aware of any such plan by the Vatican. Quoting Archbishop of Bombay Cardinal Oswald Gracias some Malayalam newspapers are saying that the Pope may visit India. Cardinal Gracias is also the President of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) and a part of the Pope's advisory counsel.
The last Pope to visit India was the Pope John Paul II. He made two official visits to India during his papacy. India has about two Crore Catholic Christians, whose supreme religious leader is the Pope.
The earlier visits of the Pope to India were opposed by the right wing Hindu groups like the RSS and VHP.