Pope Francis recounts recent trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh

Pope Francis recounts recent trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh

Published on Dec 6, 2017

Subscribe!: http://smarturl.it/RomeReports Visit our website to learn more: http://www.romereports.com/en Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomeReportsENG/ 6 de diciembre, 2017. He said his pastoral visit ended in “a sign of hope for the whole world.”

Pope Recalls High Points of Apostolic Journey

First Pope to Visit Myanmar, Third in Bangladesh

© L’Osservatore Romano

For the first time, a Successor of Peter visited Myanmar, and this occurred shortly after diplomatic relations were established between this country and the Holy See.” Pope Francis recalled December 6, 2017, during his General Audience in Paul VI Hall.

The Holy Father noted that Myanmar is a nation that has suffered conflict and repression but is now “slowly journeying towards a new condition of freedom and of peace.” He continued: “In the faces of those young people, full of joy, I saw the future of Asia: a future that will not belong to those who build weapons, but to those who sow joy.”

In addition to meeting in Myanmar with Catholics, the Pope met with representatives of other religious, government and civic organizations. During his Wednesday audience, he expressed the hope that “all the different members of the nation, none excluded, may cooperate in this process in mutual respect.”

Pope Francis also visited Bangladesh, and he reminded the crowd in the Vatican hall that “the Holy See has supported from the beginning the will of the Bangladeshi people to constitute themselves as an independent nation, as well as the need for religious freedom always to be protected in this.

“In particular, I wished to express my solidarity with Bangladesh in its commitment to assisting Rohingya refugees which have entered the country in large numbers, where the population density is already among the world’s highest.”

Read the source: https://zenit.org/articles/pope-recalls-high-points-of-apostolic-journey/

Catechesis of the Holy Father

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today I would like to speak about the apostolic trip I made in recent days in Myanmar and Bangladesh. It was a great gift from God, and therefore I thank Him for everything, especially for the encounters I was able to have. I would like again to express my gratitude to the authorities of the two countries and to their respective bishops for all the work of preparation and for the welcome reserved to me and to my collaborators. I would also like to give heartfelt thanks to the Burmese and Bengalese people, who showed me such faith and such affection: thank you!

For the first time, a Successor of Peter visited Myanmar, and this occurred shortly after diplomatic relations were established between this country and the Holy See.

In this case too, I wanted to express the closeness of Christ and of the Church to a people that has suffered due to conflicts and repressions, and which is now slowly journeying towards a new condition of freedom and of peace. A people among whom the Buddhist religion is deeply rooted, with its spiritual and ethical principles, and where Christians are present as a small flock and leaven of the Kingdom of God. This Church, living and fervent, I have had the glory of confirming in faith and in communion, in the meeting with the bishops of the country and in the two Eucharistic celebrations. The first was in the large sports area in the center of Yangon, and the Gospel of that day reminded us that persecution on account of faith in Jesus was normal for His disciples, as an occasion for witness, but also that “not a hair of their head will perish” (cf. Lk 21, 12-19). The second Mass, the final act of my visit to Myanmar, was dedicated to the young: a sign of hope and a special gift of the Virgin Mary, in the cathedral that bears her name. In the faces of those young people, full of joy, I saw the future of Asia: a future that will not belong to those who build weapons, but to those who sow joy. And again as a sign of hope, I blessed the first stones of sixteen churches, the seminary and the nunciature: eighteen!

Besides the Catholic community, I was able to meet the authorities of Myanmar, encouraging efforts for the pacification of the country and expressing my hope that all the different members of the nation, none excluded, may cooperate in this process in mutual respect. In this spirit, I wished to meet the representatives of the different religious communities present in the country. In particular, I expressed to the Supreme Council of Buddhist monks the Church’s esteem for their ancient spiritual tradition, and the confidence that Christians and Buddhists together can help people love God and neighbor, rejecting every form of violence and opposing evil with goodness.

After leaving Myanmar, I went to Bangladesh, where first of all I paid homage to the martyrs to the struggle for independence and to the “Father of the Nation”. The population of Bangladesh is for the most part of Muslim faith, and therefore my visit – following the footsteps of Blessed Paul VI and of Saint John Paul II – marked a further step in favor of respect and dialogue between Christianity and Islam.

I reminded the authorities of the country that the Holy See has supported from the beginning the will of the Bangladeshi people to constitute themselves as an independent nation, as well as the need for religious freedom always to be protected in this. In particular, I wished to express my solidarity with Bangladesh in its commitment to assisting Rohingya refugees which have entered the country in large numbers, where the population density is already among the world’s highest.

The Mass celebrated in a historic park in Dhaka was enriched by the ordination of sixteen priests, and this was one of the most meaningful and joyful events of the trip. Indeed, both in Bangladesh and in Myanmar, and in the other countries of south-east Asia, thanks to God there is no lack of vocations, a sign of living communities where there resonates the voice of the Lord Who calls them to follow Him. I shared this joy with the bishops of Bangladesh, and I encouraged them in their generous work for families, for the poor, for education, for dialogue and for social peace. And I shared this joy with many priests and consecrated persons of the country, as well as seminarians and novices, in whom I saw the seedlings of the Church in that land.

In Dhaka, we lived an important moment of interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, which enabled me to underline the openness of the heart as the basis for the culture of encounter, harmony, and peace. I also visited the “Mother Teresa House”, where the saint stayed when she was in the city, and which welcomes many orphans and people with disabilities. There, in accordance with their charism, the nuns live every day as a prayer or adoration and service to the poor and suffering Christ. And a smile is never, ever missing from their lips: nuns who pray a lot, who serve the suffering, and continually, with a smile. It is a beautiful witness. I thank those dear nuns.

The final event was with young Bangladeshis, rich in testimonies, hymns, and dances. But how well they dance, these Bangladeshis! They know how to dance well! A celebration that expressed the joy of the Gospel, welcomed by that culture; a joy made fruitful by the sacrifices of so many missionaries, so many catechists, and Christian parents. The meeting was also attended by young Muslims and members of other religions: a sign of hope for Bangladesh, for Asia and for the whole world. Thank you.

Holy Father’s Wednesday Audience

Reflections on Recent Journey to Myanmar and Bangladesh

© L’Osservatore Romano

This morning’s General Audience was held at 9:15 in Paul VI Hall, where the Holy Father Francis met with groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and from all over the world.

In his address in Italian, the Pope reflected on his recent trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh.

After summarizing his catechesis in several languages, the Holy Father addressed special greetings to groups of faithful present.

The General Audience ended with the singing of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic Blessing.

* * *

 The Holy Father’s Catechesis

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today I would like to talk about the Apostolic Journey I undertook in past days to Myanmar and Bangladesh. It was a great gift of God, and so I thank Him for everything, especially for the meetings I was able to have. I renew the expression of my gratitude to the Authorities of the two countries and to the respective Bishops, for all the work of preparation and for the welcome that was given to me and to my collaborators. I wish to give a heartfelt “thank you” to the Burmese people and to those of Bangladesh who showed me so much faith and so much affection: thank you!

For the first time a Successor of Peter visited Myanmar, and this happened shortly after diplomatic relations were established between that country and the Holy See.

In this case also, I wished to express the closeness of Christ and of the Church to a people that has suffered due to conflicts and repressions, and that now is walking slowly to a new condition of freedom and peace. A people in whom the Buddhist religion is strongly rooted, with its spiritual and ethical principles, and where Christians are present as a small flock and leaven of the Kingdom of God. I had the joy of confirming in the faith and in communion this Church, alive and fervent, in the meetings with the Bishops of the country and in the two Eucharistic celebrations. The first was in the great sports area in the center of Yangon, and the Gospel of that day recalled that persecutions caused by faith in Jesus are normal for His disciples, as occasion of testimony, but not a hair of your head will perish” (Cf. Luke 21:12-19). The second Mass, last act of the visit in Myanmar, was dedicated to young people: sign of hope and a special gift of the Virgin Mary, in the Cathedral that bears her name. In the faces of those young people, full of joy, I saw the future of Asia: a future that will not be of those that construct arms, but of those that sow fraternity. And ever in the sign of hope, I blessed the stones of 16 churches, of the Seminary and of the Nunciature: eighteen.

In addition to the Catholic community, I was able to meet the Authorities of Myanmar, encouraging the efforts for the country’s pacification and hoping that all the different components of the nation, not one excluded, will be able to cooperate in this process in mutual respect. In this spirit, I wished to meet the representatives of the different religious communities in the country. In particular, I manifested to the Supreme Council of Buddhist monks, the Church’s esteem for their ancient spiritual tradition, and the confidence that Christians and Buddhists will be able together to help people to love God and their neighbor, rejecting all violence and opposing evil with goodness.

Having left Myanmar, I went to Bangladesh, where, as the first thing, I rendered homage to the martyrs of the struggle for Independence and to the “Father of the Nation.” Bangladesh’s population is in very great part of Muslim religion and, therefore, my visit in the footsteps of Blessed Paul VI and of Saint John Paul II – marked a further step in favor of respect and of dialogue between Christianity and Islam.

 I reminded the country’s Authorities that, since the beginning, the Holy See has supported the will of the Bangladeshi people to constitute themselves as an independent nation, as well as that in it the need of religious freedom be always protected. In particular, I wished to express solidarity with Bangladesh in its commitment to help the Rohingya refugees who have flocked en masse to its territory, where the population density is already among the highest in the world.

The Mass celebrated in a historic park of Dhaka was enriched by the Ordination of sixteen priests, and this was one of the most significant and joyful events of the trip. In fact, be it in Bangladesh as well as in Myanmar and in other countries of South East Asia, thank God vocation are not lacking, a sign of living communities, where the Lord’s voice resounds, who calls to follow Him. I shared this joy with the Bishops of Bangladesh, and I encouraged them in their generous work for families, for the poor, for education, for dialogue and social peace. And I shared this joy with many priests, and consecrated men and women of the country, as well as with the seminarians and men and women novices, in whom I saw seeds of the Church in that land.  

 At Dhaka, we lived an intense moment of inter-religious and ecumenical dialogue, which enabled me to stress the importance of openness of heart as a basis of the culture of encounter, of harmony and of peace. In addition, I visited “Mother Teresa’s House,” where the Saint stayed when she was in that city, and which receives very many orphans and persons with disabilities. There, in keeping with their charism, the Sisters live every day the prayer of Adoration and the service to Christ, poor and suffering. And a smile is never lacking on their lips. Sisters that pray so much, that serve the suffering continually with a smile. It’s a beautiful testimony. I thank these little Sisters so much.

The last event was with the Bangladeshi young people, rich in testimonies, songs, and dances. But how well they dance, these Bengalese! They know how to dance well! A celebration that manifested the joy of the Gospel received by that culture; a joy fecundated by the sacrifices of so many missionaries, so many catechists, and Christian parents. Also present at the meeting were young Muslims and <youths> of other religions: a sign of hope for Bangladesh, for Asia and for the whole world.

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]  In Italian

 A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I greet the parish groups, the schools adhering to the project of formation to legality of the Archdiocese of Capua, and the Associations, in particular: the Friends of Raoul Follereau-Italy; the Italian Catholic Businessmen; the parents of children affected by leukemia or tumors, as well as the members of the Civil Protection of Cerveteri. May the visit to the Eternal City help each one to live intensely the time of Advent in preparation for the birth of the Lord Jesus. I welcome the faithful from Episcopia, and I gladly bless the golden crown that will be placed on the effigy of Our Lady who is venerated in the local Shrine.

I greet and receive with joy the group of Syro-Iraqi refugees residing in Italy, as well as the priests, the Sisters and lay people from Myanmar and from Bangladesh, who are present here to return my recent visit to their countries of origin.

A special thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Today is the Memorial of Saint Nicholas of Bari. Dear young people, put the search for God and His love above everything; dear sick, may the example of the Saints help and comfort you in moments of greatest need, and you, dear newlyweds, with the grace of God, every day make your union more firm and profound.

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]The Holy Father’s Appeal

 My thoughts now turn to Jerusalem. In this regard, I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days and, at the same time, I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations.

Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace.

I pray to the Lord that such identity be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the entire world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts.

[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by the Holy See]

Rohingyas: One Who Doesn’t Suffer with Those Suffering, Must Question Himself on His Humanity

The Pope’s Greetings to Visitors form Jordan, the Holy Land, and the Middle East.

© L’Osservatore Romano

“One who doesn’t suffer with suffering brothers . . . must question himself on the sincerity of his faith and of his humanity, said Pope Francis, on December 6, 2017, recalling the situation of the Rohingya minority, persecuted in Myanmar.

Greeting the Arabic-speaking visitors, in the course of the General Audience over which the Holy Father presided in Paul VI Hall, especially the pilgrims of Jordan, the Holy Land, and the Middle East, the Pontiff recalled the Bengali-speaking Sunni Muslims that live in the northwest of the state of Arakan (Rakhine), four days after his 21st Apostolic Journey to Myanmar and Bangladesh.

“One who doesn’t suffer with a suffering brother, even if he is different from him by race, religion, language or culture, must question himself on the sincerity of his faith and his humanity,” affirmed Pope Francis.

”I was particularly touched by the meeting with Rohingya refugees, and I asked them to forgive us for our failures and our silence, in asking the International Community to aid and help all the oppressed and persecuted groups in the world,” confided the Pontiff.

“May the Lord bless you all and protect you from the Evil One!” concluded the Pope.

The question of the Rohingyas was among the most important of this trip of the Pope (November 27-December 2). If he was silent in Myanmar about their very controversial name, in Bangladesh he launched a clear appeal, at the end of an inter-religious and ecumenical prayer for peace at Dhaka. On the podium, where he took part in the prayer with representatives of different Confessions, Pope Francis met 16 Rohingyas – 12 men, four women of which two were girls – listening to their stories with the help of an interpreter.

“We are close to you,” he assured them. “We can do little because your tragedy is very great. But we make room for you in our heart. On behalf of all those that persecute you, those who have hurt you and for the world’s indifference, I ask your pardon. Pardon. Many among you have spoken to me of Bangladesh’s great heart that has welcomed you. At present, I appeal to your great heart that it be capable of giving the pardon for which we ask.”

“Dear brothers and sisters, let us show the world what the egoism of the world does with the image of God,” continued the Pontiff. “Let’s continue to do them good, to help them, let us continue to act so that their rights are recognized. Let us not close our hearts; let us not look the other way. The presence of God today is also called Rohingya. Let each one of us give his response.

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