Jan 072011
 

by Anura Guruge

The pope, who will turn 84 on April 16, 2011, has five overseas trips scheduled for 2011 — though one is to San Marino, a micro-state, enclave in Italy.
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He has already made 18 trips abroad, so these, to Croatia, San Marino, Germany, Spain and Benin, will be his 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23 trips outside of Italy.

Pope Benedict XVI trips outside Italy 2005 to 2011

Croatia and Benin are small countries, with populations smaller than that of large cities such as New York, London, Mexico City, Tokyo or Mumbai. San Marino, with a total population of less than 30,000 souls, is even smaller! Here is how they stack up, at #51, #71 and #160 in terms of their Catholic populations, against the 20 largest Catholic nations:

Catholics in Benin, San Marino and Croatia ... plus 20 most Catholic by Anura Guruge

Cardinal Bishop Bernardin Gantin, Benin's most famous son

Cardinal Bishop Bernardin Gantin, Benin's most famous son

However, Croatia comes in at #21, in terms of the percentage of Catholics within the population. Benin, on the other hand, is quite a ways down the table below Australia and the United States. Benin is probably best known for two things: its role in 17th century slave trading (some of it in cahoots with Jesuits) and for the rather popular Cardinal Bishop Bernardin Gantin (1922 – 2008), Dean of the College of Cardinals from 1993 to 2002 — the only non-white to hold that prestigious office. San Marino is about as Catholic as you can get. The diocese, officially known as ‘San Marino-Montefeltro,’ is indubitably unique in that it spans two nations — Italy & San Marino, with 85% of the 91 parishes as well as the bishop’s see, in Italy. San Marino is an ‘associated state‘ of Italy, as is Vatican City. Italy is responsible for the defense of San Marino and there are no border controls between Italy and San Marino. Consequently, there are some, as was I to begin with, who do not consider the pope’s trip to San Marino as an ‘overseas’ trip. Here is Gloria TV as an example.

Though Benedict has not previously visited either of these countries, both these countries have been blessed with prior papal visits. John Paul II (#265) visited Croatia three times (1994, 1998 & 2003) , Benin twice (1982 & 1993) and San Marino one (1982).

Trips outside Italy of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI pre Anura Guruge

Map op Pope Benedict XVI’s trips outside Italy per Wikipedia. Please click on map for the Wikipedia article:

  13 Responses to “Pope Benedict XVI To Make 5 Overseas Trips In 2011”

  1. OK, I struggled with San Marino. OK, I will update it.

  2. OK, I fixed it. Good lesson for me. I was, in my old age, being careless. I took one quick look at SM and decided that this is really can’t count as a trip outside Italy. But, I was wrong. I wonder if there is a real border and passport control? Thanks.

  3. I hope Pope Benedict XVI would visit Philippines someday. the previous Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines twice actually three times but the first was when he was still a cardinal. and he visited Philippines on the third year of his papacy in 1981 and another time in 1995. Pope Benedict XVI is almost in his 6th year already but he has not visited Philippines yet. Also 2011 we will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the oldest Catholic university in Asia the University of Santo Tomas. so I hope that will make the present Pope visit the 3rd largest Catholic country in the world even just one time. Thanks.

  4. And I think the Pope will turn 84 on April 16 2011 not April 16 2010

  5. You are right. Another typo. Come on. Give me a break. I am still recovering from the holidays. I fixed it, though. THANKS.

  6. Watch this Gloria TV video about the pope’s four (4) International trips in 2011 … which, like me, also starts by stressing that the pope is 84. If you listen carefully, and these folks (funded by Opus Dei are REAL Vatican insiders) you will see that an undertone of the story is that the pope is not traveling far, i.e., no long trips. Again, when you are President of the USA or pope (though it is a shame that the Catholics have not given the pope a fully customized 747-400 with spacious bedroom and private chapel) 16 or 24 hours trips by air are not as arduous as me having to fly first class of Cathay Pacific. But, the Philippines is probably 12-14 hours from Rome, even if they crack the seal on the Airbus 380 throttle and push it to the max. The only time I was in the Philippines, I flew back via Bangkok (another one of the cities that I had lived with). It was KLM, I think … and I think there were only 3 of us in the first class cabin. It was a 747. Bangkok to Schiphol. Since there were only a few of us, we were, of course, getting personal attention from the always delightful KLM crew. This was also 1984 — way before paranoia set into air travel. So I would keep on joking, go to the cockpit and tap on the fuel gauge … you sure we have fuel for this 16 hour flight. So it was 16 hours in 1984 and that is when airlines DID FLY at max speed, rather than optimum cruising speed.
    I could, as ever, be wrong. But, I think you might have to wait for the next pope … but he too might be elderly.
    Hey, I always do my bit. I always point out how many Catholics the Philippines has. All the best. Keep on checking my typos.
    Cheers

  7. San Marino still bothers me. So this morning, I did some MORE checking and annotated my post.
    I am NOT the only one who considered the San Marino trip to be an intra-Italian jaunt. Check Gloria TV and CNS.
    Also Google ‘pope 2011 trips 4’
    Not sure what your humor quotient is, BUT have a laugh. See who has TOP Google billing? Google knows its stuff.
    San Marino is a ‘protectorate’ of Italy with no border controls. In this, it has the same relationship with Italy as does Vatican City. That was my underlying concern. Do we have to class trips to Italy as also been to foreign countries?

  8. I was thinking. Living where you do, you must have heard of Sai Baba. Link. One of the many miracles he can perform is to appear in two places at the same time. Now if he can do it, the pope should be able to do it too … though I have never heard of a pope doing it. But, performing miracles is something that popes are supposed to do … if they want to be canonized. So maybe this will get around the issue of long trips. Has Sai Baba appeared in the Philippines. I am not sure how much he travels, even with his miraculous talents. In the 1970s, both my parents went to see him in New Delhi. I think the million people that were there to see him was said to be a record. I think John Paul II since broke that. But, I don’t think John Paul II walked through the crowds. My father got a slice of banana from him, manifested out of thin air. My father still talks about it. Just a thought. Cheers.
    P.S., Between 1971 and 1974 I did not get my hair cut. Three times, in India, I had people fall on the ground and worship me! I am used to that when I am with my father, but not when it is directed to me. These three poor people thought I was the Sai! I felt bad for them. Kind of a slap in the face for me too. Sai, I think, is at least 30 years older than me.

  9. I’ve been to Italy already last 2005 and I saw the present pope in person though only in the big screen because we were already late for the Wednesday Papal Audience. so we were only at the back. From Italy we flew back to Thailand if I remember right that was 11 hours and another 3 hours from Thailand to Philippines so yes Philippins to Italy is around 14 hours. Yes the pope might be elderly already but remember Pope John Paul II still traveled 8 months before he died and he was in worse health than the present pope. Now regarding miracle workers like Sai Baba I have not heard of him. and I’m more on living a good,upright Christian life rather than waiting for a miracle to happen. And it takes years sometimes even decades for the Church to approve it is really a miracle. Some of them are just hoaxes.

  10. Anura, what’s the point of being worshiped if you don’t (ab)use the privilege. I assume there were reasonably attractive young women among the crowd, right? What’s good enough for Zeus should be all right for a lesser deity like yourself as well. ūüėČ

    What’s this about being in 2 places at the same time? It sounds like something Art Bell might be talking about at his late night radio show.

    But as far as travel, Dom is right. Age should be no excuse for Pope to not make long trips. After all, he will have a private jet with plenty of comfort and luxury – it’s not like he has to fly coach like a mere mortal.

  11. Do people actually fly coach? [[ grin, grin ]]

    When I was traveling, 1992-2000, nearly 3 days in the air, each week — my wife use to complain/joke: “Anu does not know that planes have seats that have numbers greater than 6.’

    I did provide a link to Sai Baba … didn’t I? Look him up. Interesting guy. John Paul II and he did have a dialogue.

    Alas, the three times I was worshiped, as Sai Baba, I do not recall that there were, alas, any attractive women involved. [[ another grin ]]

    Thanks. Cheers.

  12. I did provide a link to Sai Baba … didn’t I? Look him up. Interesting guy.

    I did look him up. Still sounds like a case for Art Bell – or maybe Fox Moulder.
    Didn’t Padre Pio (who also knew JP2 as a young priest and even allegedly predicted his papacy) also claim ability to be in two places at once?

  13. When will Pope Benedict 16th visit the Philippines? Almost all the continents in the world has been visited but the South and Southeast Asia is not yet visited. Philippines, the largest catholic county in Asia, is hopine for a Papal visit in 2012.

    We look forward for this.
    GOD Bless.
    Thanks…….

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