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Pope recounts recent trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh

Pope Francis summarized his trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh last week during his General Audience. 

As the first pope in Myanmar, he took the opportunity to promote communication between political and religious authorities saying, “I stressed the importance of dialogue and cooperation in the building of a society in which everyone, with the exclusion of none, is accepted and respected.”

In Bangladesh, his main focus was expressing solidarity with the Rohingya refugees. He said his Pastoral Visit “ended in a sign of hope for Bangladesh, for all of Asia, and for the whole world.”

SUMMARY OF CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

My recent Pastoral Visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh was memorable for my encounter with those two great peoples and for a wide variety of fruitful meetings. Mine was the first visit of a Pope to Myanmar, a nation gradually moving toward a new experience of freedom and peace. At Mass, in the celebration with young people, in my encounter with interreligious leaders in that predominantly Buddhist country, and in my meetings with the state authorities, I stressed the importance of dialogue and cooperation in the building of a society in which everyone, with the exclusion of none, is accepted and respected.

In Bangladesh, a country of Muslim majority, I reaffirmed the importance of dialogue and cooperation between Christians and Muslims. I wished also to express solidarity with the country’s efforts to provide relief amid the crisis of the Rohingya refugees. A highlight of my celebrations with the Catholic community was the final Mass with young people, which was attended also by young followers of Islam and other religions. In this way, my Pastoral Visit ended in a sign of hope for Bangladaesh, for all of Asia, and for the whole world.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from Wales, Denmark, Nigeria and the United States of America. I offer a particular greeting to the members of the World Youth Alliance and the musical group Up with People. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.