Pope Francis’ visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh

This week Pope Francis visited two countries with few Catholics – Myanmar and Bangladesh.

In Myanmar especially, ethnic and religious identity can be an explosive issue. Myanmar houses a group called Rohingya Muslims, who are persecuted by government and others.

According to Holy Cross Father Daniel Groody, an associate professor of theology and global affairs at the University of Notre Dame, who had been in Myanmar a year and a half ago studying the situation of the Rohingya, “They are the most stateless people I have ever encountered, They are not only undocumented, they are so totally defined as ‘other’ that they are considered nonpersons.”

The Myanmar government refers to them as undocumented Muslims from Rakhine state, according to Fr. Groody.

Fr. Groody, who received NFPC’s Touchstone award in 2012, spoke to Catholic News Service (Dec. 1, 2017) about the situation.

During his visit to Bangladesh, Pope Francis ordained 16 priests. At the ordination Mass which took place in Suhrawardy Udyan, a park and national memorial in Dhaka, the pope said to he newly ordained, “Keep always before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve, and who came to seek out and save what was lost.”

For the CNS report, click here.

For a Crux (Dec. 1, 2017) summary of articles on the papal visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh, click here.

For the National Catholic Register (Dec. 1, 2017) report, click here.