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Pope heads to South America

Published:Saturday | July 4, 2015 | 11:02 PM

Pope Francis will begin a week long tour of three South American countries today when he arrives in Ecuador.

The Pope will travel to Bolivia on Wednesday, and to Paraguay on Friday. He is scheduled to return to Rome on next Sunday.

During his trip Pope Francis is expected to be confronted by a host of thorny issues including a contentious case involving a 10-year-old rape victim in Paraguay who has been refused access to an abortion.

The Pope is sure to be asked by the press to weigh in on the case -- which has been condemned by human rights experts -- as well as other issues that he has not spoken publicly about, such as the Supreme Court decision that legalised gay marriage across the United States.