FULL TEXT Audience 12/6/17 of Pope Francis:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today I would like to talk about the apostolic journey I have made in recent days in Myanmar and Bangladesh. It was a great gift from God, and therefore I thank Him for everything, especially for the meetings I have had. I renew the expression of my gratitude to the Authorities of the two countries and to the respective Bishops, for all the preparation work and for the reception reserved for me and my collaborators. A "thank you" I feel I want to address the Burmese and the Bengali people, who have shown me so much faith and affection: thank you!
For the first time a successor of Peter visited Myanmar, and this happened shortly after diplomatic relations were established between this country and the Holy See.
In this case too, I wanted to express the closeness of Christ and of the Church to a people who suffered because of conflicts and repressions, and who are now slowly walking towards a new condition of freedom and peace. A people in which the Buddhist religion is strongly rooted, with its spiritual and ethical principles, and where Christians are present as a small flock and leaven of the Kingdom of God. This Church, alive and fervent, I had the joy of confirming in the faith and in communion, in the encounter with the Bishops of the country and in the two Eucharistic celebrations. The first was in the large sports area at the center of Yangon, and the Gospel of that day recalled that persecution because of faith in Jesus is normal for his disciples, as an occasion for witness, but that "not even one of their hairs will go lost "(cf. Lk 21: 12-19). The second Mass, the last act of the visit to Myanmar, was dedicated to the young: a sign of hope and a special gift of the Virgin Mary, in the cathedral that bears his name. In the faces of those young people, full of joy, I saw the future of Asia: a future that will not be those who build arms, but those who sow fraternity. And always in a sign of hope I blessed the first stones of 16 churches, the seminary and the nunciature: eighteen!
In addition to the Catholic community, I was able to meet the authorities of Myanmar, encouraging the country's efforts to pacify and hoping that all the different components of the nation, no one excluded, can cooperate in this process in mutual respect. In this spirit, I wanted to meet the representatives of the different religious communities present in the country. In particular, at the Supreme Council of Buddhist monks I have expressed the esteem of the Church for their ancient spiritual tradition, and the trust that Christians and Buddhists can together help people to love God and neighbor, rejecting all violence and opposing evil with the good.
After leaving Myanmar, I went to Bangladesh, where I first paid tribute to the martyrs of the struggle for independence and to the "Father of the Nation". The population of Bangladesh is very much part of the Muslim religion, and so my visit - in the footsteps of those of Blessed Paul VI and of St John Paul II - marked a further step in favor of respect and dialogue between Christianity and 'Islam.
I reminded the Authorities of the country that the Holy See has supported from the outset the will of the Bengali people to establish themselves as an independent nation, as well as the need for religious freedom to be safeguarded in it. In particular, I wanted to express solidarity with Bangladesh in its commitment to help the Rohingya refugees flow en masse into its territory, where the population density is already among the highest in the world.
The Mass celebrated in a historic park in Dhaka has been enriched by the ordination of sixteen priests, and this was one of the most significant and joyful events of the trip. In fact, both in Bangladesh and in Myanmar and in the other countries of Southeast Asia, thanks to God vocations are not lacking, a sign of living community, where the voice of the Lord resounds calling to follow him. I shared this joy with the Bishops of Bangladesh, and I encouraged them in their generous work for families, for the poor, for education, for dialogue and for social peace. And I shared this joy with many priests, consecrated and consecrated persons of the country, as well as with the seminarians, novices and novices, in whom I saw sprouts of the Church in that land.
In Dhaka we experienced a strong moment of interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, which gave me the opportunity to underline the opening of the heart as the basis of the culture of encounter, harmony and peace. I have also visited the "Mother Teresa House", where the saint was staying when she was in that city, and that welcomes many orphans and people with disabilities. There, according to their charisma, the sisters live every day the prayer of adoration and the service to the poor and suffering Christ. And always, always a smile on their lips: nuns who pray they pray so much, that they serve the suffering and continually with a smile. It is a beautiful testimony. Thank you so much these little sisters.
The last event was with the young Bengalis, full of testimonies, songs and dances. But how well they dance, these Bengalis! They know how to dance well! A feast that manifested the joy of the Gospel welcomed by that culture; a joy fertilized by the sacrifices of many missionaries, of many catechists and Christian parents. Young Muslims and other religions were also present at the meeting: a sign of hope for Bangladesh, for Asia and for the whole world. Thank you
Je suis heureux de saluer les pèlerins venus de France et de divers pays francophones, en particulier la délégation de la Lorraine, ainsi que celle du scoutisme catholique. En ce temps de l’Avent, que le Seigneur nous aide, ainsi que les peuples du Myanmar et du Bangladesh, à ouvrir nos cœurs pour l’aimer et aimer notre prochain. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
[I am pleased to greet the pilgrims from France and the various Francophone countries, especially those from the Lorraine delegation and Catholic scouting. In this time of Advent, may the Lord help you, as well as the peoples of Myanmar and Bangladesh, to open hearts to love and to favor one's neighbor. God bless you!]
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.
[I greet the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's Hearing, especially those from Wales, Denmark, Nigeria and the United States of America. I address a special greeting to the youth of the World Youth Alliance and to the musical group Viva la Gente. On all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.]
Herzlich grüße ich die Brüder und Schwestern deutscher Sprache, insbesondere die Teilnehmer an der Wallfahrt der Schönstatt-Bewegung. Der Herr lädt uns in dieser Adventszeit ein, ihm entgegenzugehen. Er gibt sich zu erkennen in den Kleinsten, in den Kranken und Bedürftigen. Der Heilige Geist geleite euch auf euren Wegen.
[I cordially greet the German-speaking brothers and sisters, especially the participants in the Schönstatt movement pilgrimage. The Lord invites us in this time of Advent to go to meet him who makes himself known to the little ones, the sick and the needy. May the Holy Spirit guide you on your way.]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los grupos provenientes de España y Latinoamérica. En este tiempo de Adviento los animo a fortalecer su vida cristiana con la oración, la escucha de la Palabra de Dios y las obras de caridad, y, siguiendo el ejemplo de la Inmaculada Virgen María, cuya solemnidad celebraremos pasado mañana, preparen su corazón para recibir al Señor que ya viene. Muchas gracias.
Dirijo uma cordial saudação aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa aqui presentes, particularmente os fiéis brasileiros. Caros amigos, neste início de Advento, somos convidados a ir ao encontro de Jesus que nos espera em todos os necessitados, aos quais podemos levar a luz do Evangelho e o alívio da caridade. Que Deus vos abençoe!
[I address a cordial greeting to the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims present here, in particular, to the Brazilian faithful. Dear friends, in this beginning of Advent, we are invited to go to meet Jesus who awaits us in all the needy to whom we can bring the light of the Gospel and the relief of charity. God bless you!]
أرحب بمودة بالحجاج الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصة بالقادمين من الأردن، ومن الأراضي المقدسة، ومن الشرق الأوسط. من لا يتألم مع أخيه المتألم، حتى وإن اختلف معه في اللون أو الدين أو اللغة أو الثقافية، يجب عليه أن يتساءل عن صدق إيمانه وصدق إنسانيته. لقد تأثرت كثيرا بلقاء اللاجئين الروهينجا، وطلبت منهم أن يسامحونا على تقصيرنا وعن صمتنا، كما طالبت المجتمع الدولي أن يساعدهم ويساعد جميع الجماعات المتألمة والمضَّطهدة في العالم. ليبارككم الرب جميعا ويحرسكم من الشرير!
[I address a cordial greeting to the Arab-speaking pilgrims, especially those from Jordan, the Holy Land and the Middle East. Who does not suffer with his suffering brother, even if he is different from him by race, religion, language or culture, must question the sincerity of his faith and his humanity. I was very touched by the meeting with the Rohingya refugees and I asked them to forgive us for our failings and for our silence, asking the international community to help them and to help all the oppressed and persecuted groups in the world. May the Lord bless you all and protect you from the evil one!]
Witam polskich pielgrzymów, a szczególnie tych, którzy ofiarowali i zorganizowali transport tej pięknej choinki na Plac św. Piotra. Bardzo dziękuję! W najbliższą niedzielę, w Polsce będzie obchodzony Dzień modlitwy i pomocy Kościołowi na Wschodzie. Polecam Bogu to dzieło, znak gotowości wspierania wiernych i pasterzy w sąsiednich krajach. Dziękuję Wam również za towarzyszenie mi w modlitwie podczas niedawnej podróży apostolskiej. Z serca wam błogosławię! Niech Będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!
[I welcome the Polish pilgrims, especially those who have committed themselves to donate and bring this beautiful Christmas tree to St. Peter's Square. Thank you very much! Next Sunday in Poland the Day of Prayer and of Help for the Eastern Church will be celebrated. I entrust this work to God, a sign of solicitude for the support of the faithful and the pastors of neighboring countries. I thank you also for having accompanied me in my prayer during my recent apostolic journey. I bless you from the heart! Praised be Jesus Christ!]
My thoughts now go to Jerusalem. In this regard, I can not ignore my deep concern about the situation that has arisen in recent days and, at the same time, do not make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant Resolutions United Nations.
Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, who venerate the Holy Places of their respective religions, and has a special vocation to peace.
I pray the Lord that this identity is preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already convulsed and marked by many and cruel conflicts.
* * *
I extend a cordial welcome to Italian-speaking pilgrims.
I greet the parish groups, the schools participating in the project of formation for the legality of the Archdiocese of Capua, and the associations, in particular: the Friends of Raoul Follereau Italy; the Catholic Catholic Entrepreneurs; the Parents of children suffering from leukemia or cancer, as well as members of the Civil Protection of Cerveteri. The visit to the Eternal City helps each one to live intensely the time of Advent in preparation for the Lord's Christmas. I welcome the faithful from Episcopia: I will gladly bless the golden crown which will be placed on the effigy of the Madonna who is venerated in the local shrine.
I greet and welcome the group of Syrian-Iraqi refugees residing in Italy, as well as the priests, nuns and laity from Myanmar and Bangladesh, who are here to return my recent visit to their countries of origin. Thank you.
A special thought for the young, the sick and the newlyweds. Today is the memorial of St. Nicholas of Bari. Dear young people, put above all the search for God and his love; dear sick people, the example of the saints will be of help and comfort in the moments of greatest need; and you, dear newlyweds, with the grace of God make your union stronger and deeper every day. Thank you.
TEXT SOURCE VATICAN.VA original Italian - working translation
TEXT SOURCE VATICAN.VA original Italian - working translation