Informed observers are speculating that the pope might add another destination to his first Asian trip -- one that would mark the voyage as truly historic.
The continued meetings between the two religious leaders have provoked speculation about whether the two churches may one day be reunited after nearly 1,000 years of estrangement.
The World Cup, which opens today, "overcomes linguistic, cultural and national barriers," the pope said.
Pope Francis denounced those responsible for human trafficking, slave labor and arms manufacturing, saying people producing weapons of war are "merchants of death."
"One day everything comes to an end and they will be held accountable to God," the pope said at his weekly general audience Wednesday.
The pope also launched an appeal to the international community to help safeguard children from forced labor, highlighting the plight of an estimated 160 million child workers worldwide.
Pope Francis canceled a second day of private audiences and his morning Mass on Tuesday because of a minor illness, but Vatican officials downplayed speculation about ill health.
Pope Francis reconfirmed most members of the Congregation for Clergy and named three new members Monday, including a U.S.-born archbishop from Lithuania.
Pope Francis urged athletes to live life the same way they play sports: Don't hog the ball, don't fall back on defense, and make sure to keep it fun.
He also called on policymakers and communities to guarantee all kids have access to sports, education and jobs early on in life, "and I guarantee that there will be no addictions to drugs, alcohol and many other vices."
Making a Difference: Palestinians face many discriminatory challenges in Israel. To help correct these, an American priest has created the Holy Land Principles.
Those who insist others pray and believe exactly like they do, those who have alternatives to every church teaching and benefactors who use the church as a cover for business connections may call themselves Catholics, but they have one foot out the door, Pope Francis said.
"Many people say they belong to the church," but in reality have "only one foot inside," the pope said Thursday at the morning Mass in the chapel of his residence.
"For these people, the church is not home," but is a place they use as a rental property, he said, according to Vatican Radio.
Pope Francis named a slate of new members to the Vatican's financial watchdog agency, replacing an all-Italian panel with members from Italy, Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.