Pope to visit Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay in July


VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis will visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay July 6-12, the Vatican said on Thursday, giving him a chance to emphasise his defence of the poor and his calls for social justice on his native continent.

Francis, the first pope from Latin America, will be in Ecuador July 6-8, Bolivia July 8-10 and Paraguay July 10-12. It will be his second trip to Latin America since his 2013 election.

The Argentinian pope has made speaking out in defence of the poor and downtrodden a major plank of his papacy. He has called for re-distribution of wealth and has highlighted how issues such as climate change affect poorest countries most.

He visited Brazil in 2013. This year, he is also expected to make trips to Bosnia-Herzegovina in June, the United States in September and several African countries towards the end of the year.