The leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, plans to visit the Philippines in January next year, the Catholic News Service reported Tuesday.
The report did not reveal additional details about the supposed visit, but said the Pope "announced he plans to visit the Philippines and Sri Lanka in January."
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said in an interview that plans are underway for a hoped-for visit by the Pope.
He also said the papal visit's defining character is to "come close" to Filipinos who were devastated by Typhoon Yolanda in November and earthquake in October, both in 2013.
If the visit pushes through, Pope Francis will be the third pope to visit the Philippines after Pope Paul VI (1970), and now St. John Paul II (1981 and 1995).
Aside from the Philippines, the pope also plans to visit Sri Lanka in the same year.
[Photo: Stephen Driscoll]