On 23rd January, as Pope Francis would be heading towards Panama and it is being assumed that at the gathering of young Catholics, he would be focusing on the issues of poverty, human rights, and immigration.
The 23rd-28th January trip for the Church’s World Youth Day would be Francis’ first trip to Central America. Central America is a region that has been embroiled in a migration crisis as thousands of people are making their way north to the United States in order to request asylum or request a job.
In 2016 February, when Pope Francis visited Mexico, he condemned the presidential candidate Donald Trump’s promise to construct a wall along the border with Mexico in order to check illegal immigration. A Vatican spokesperson Alessandro Gisotti stated as many people in Panama are immigrants so a reference to the migration crisis can be taken up by the Holy Father.
The border wall became a hot topic in the United States, which is in the paroxysm of a partial government closedown as now President Trump is persisting on his call to finance the wall as part of any bill to completely reopen the government.
Since mid-October, thousands of Central Americans, mainly from Honduras, have travelled north through Mexico in a caravan, some even walked a long distance in order to reach the United States. At that time, Francis condemned a deluge of shutdown toward the foreigner.
Many immigrants are looking for asylum, stating that they faced violence and human rights abuses in their native nation. Hence, it is being expected that Pope Francis would make these issues as the trip’s theme.
Francis, who is 82-year-old, now in the sixth year of his office or authority as the Pope, is also due to visit a juvenile prison and an infirmary for AIDS sufferers.
World Youth Day, which is held in different cities about every three years, has been touted as the “Catholic Woodstock”, a gathering where young people can celebrate their faith and also talk about social issues.