Pope heads to Mongolia to minister to its few Catholics and complete centuries-old East-West mission

When Pope Francis travels to Mongolia this week, he will in some ways be completing a mission begun by the 13th-century Pope Innocent IV, who dispatched emissaries east to ascertain the intentions of the rapidly expanding Mongol Empire and beseech its leaders to halt the bloodshed and convert. Francis last year upped the Mongolian church's standing when he made a cardinal out of its leader, the Italian missionary Giorgio Marengo.