Amid wall debate, pope visits Panama with migration in mind

Pope Francis is looking to leave the sex abuse scandal buffeting his papacy behind as he goes to Central America on Wednesday amid a standoff over President Donald Trump's promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and a new caravan of migrants heading north

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis hopes to leave the sex abuse scandal buffeting his papacy behind as he goes to Central America on Wednesday amid a standoff over President Donald Trump's promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and a new migrant caravan heading north.

History's first Latin American pope is the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina and has made the plight of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his papacy.

He is also expected to offer words of encouragement to young people gathered in Panama for World Youth Day, the church's once-every-three-year pep rally to invigorate the next generation of Catholics in their faith.

Panama Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa says Francis' message is likely to resonate with young Central Americans who see the U.S. as a future free of violence and poverty.