The pope is travelling this week on his third Apostolic Journey to Asia. He started the week in Myanmar (Burma), speaking about embracing forgiveness and compassion and moving forward from the hurts of the past.
“This was the main theme of his many conversations in Burma, talks, homilies, etc. He constantly spoke about working toward peace and what that could mean. He talked about doing that within what he called the ‘chorus of differences’, respecting each others gifts and traditions of faith, but finding a way to continue to work together,” said Ashley Noronha, Relevant Radio® Rome Correspondent, on her weekly Morning Air® segment.
This doesn’t mean uniformity, says Pope Francis. “We have to understand the richness of our ethnic, religious, and popular differences. He said it’s from these differences that the dialogue has been created.”
The pope will travel to Bangladesh on Thursday for the second part of his Apostolic Journey. “All eyes have really been watching these few days, because from a diplomatic perspective, these are really important diplomatic trips,” says Noronha.
The Catholic populations in Myanmar and Bangladesh are very small – only amounting to .2% of the population in Bangladesh. “So, you can imagine how much it means to receive this visit of the Holy Father in his third tour of Asia since his election in 2013.” He visits these countries as a “steward of peace, constantly pushing this idea of peace” in a place where the political and social climates are precarious and recovering from a great deal of division and pain.
“Pope Francis is constantly talking about going out to the margins and really ministering to those on the fringes, and his visit to these two countries is certainly an example of that. These are Catholics who are constantly struggling for their identity in these countries where they live in the minority and deal with quite a bit of persecution,” says Noronha. The pope has brought with him to Myanmar and Bangladesh a message of peace and hope for the future.
Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us!