Pope Francis wrapped up his visit to Myanmar on Thursday with a Mass for young people before heading to neighbouring Bangladesh where the Muslim Rohingya refugee crisis was expected to take center stage.
Pope Francis called on Myanmar’s top Buddhist monks to conquer “prejudice and hatred” in a country ravaged by communal divisions, after holding the nation’s first-ever papal mass attended by 150,000 Catholics on Wednesday.
Pope Francis insisted Tuesday that Myanmar's future depends on respecting the rights of each ethnic group, an indirect show of support for Rohingya Muslims who have been subject to decades of discrimination and a recent military crackdown described by the UN as a textbook campaign of "ethnic cleansing."
Pope Francis met Myanmar's powerful army chief Monday at the start of a highly sensitive trip to the majority-Buddhist country, which is under fire internationally for a brutal military crackdown that sparked an exodus of Rohingya Muslims.
Randy Short, with the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization from Washington, says he doubts Pope Francis’ agreement to apologize for the role of the Catholic Church in Canada’s school system, where indigenous children were abused for decades.