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Myanmar: A Voyage Marked by Unity, Affirms Greg Burke

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Myanmar: A Voyage Marked by Unity, Affirms Greg Burke

“€œUnity in Diversity”€ was the main theme of Pope Francis”€™ Apostolic Journey to Myanmar (Burma) from November 27-30, 2017. Thus Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office, summarized this trip on the eve of its conclusion, stressing the Pope”€™s appeal for respect of the rights of all the ethnic groups.

During a briefing at Yangon, alongside three Burmese Bishops, Greg Burke greeted a “€œhistoric voyage”€ for the “€œsmall Church”€ of Myanmar, a country of Buddhist majority. The Argentine Pontiff was the first Pope to tread Burmese soil.

“€œOne can describe the Pope”€™s trip with these words, said the Director, in words reported by Vatican Radio: unity in diversity, as the Pope said . . . with the religious leaders [November 28, 2017]. Unity also for this small Catholic Church and for the role it plays in the whole society . . . and the unity of working together, with the Buddhists . . . for peace and for respect of dignity.”€

Recalling the situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority, which term is prohibited by the Government, Greg Burke deplored “€œa very grave humanitarian situation.”€ However, he appealed not to reduce an Apostolic Journey to just one political question. Although not pronouncing the word, the Holy Father “€œcalls attention, seeks to help. And one who wants to understand, understands when the Pope speaks of respect of the rights of all, without exclusion,”€ he said.

The Bishops, who surrounded the Director of the Press Office, confided that, some hours earlier, Pope Francis spoke to them of the Church as a “€œfield hospital,”€ an expression that is dear to him.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester



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