Pope Francis Wraps Up Apostolic Tour in Bangladesh
By Mei Manuel, December 03, 2017 03:12 AM
On Saturday, Pope Francis wraps up his short apostolic tour in Myanmar and Bangladesh by visiting a home in Dhaka founded by Mother Teresa for orphans, single mothers and destitute elderly.
Upon his arrival at the orphanage ran by the Missionaries of Charity, the pope was welcomed by children and nuns wearing the traditional blue-and-white habit worn by its founder, who became a saint in 2016. The home was opened in 1970 to help Bengali women who became pregnant after being raped by Pakistani soldiers during the war of independence. Today, the home remains active in supporting orphaned and abandoned children, as well as single mothers and sick elders.
Pope Francis has also visited some of the bed-ridden sick in the home and spoke to them.
He also made an impromptu address to the nuns and priests, praising Bangladesh for having the best inter-religious relations in the world as the country is mostly a Muslim country with only 1% of its population Catholic.
He also remarked he was very pleased with the inter-religious meeting held on Friday when he met Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. it was at this meeting he used the word 'Rohingya' for the first time, despite the potential backlash it may present. He remarked to these refugees that they had God within them and they should be respected as well.
He also urged the priests and nuns who live in the communities to stop gossip as he sees it as a form of "terrorism."
The pope also met up with several young people at a Catholic priest-run college established in the 1970s before leaving for Rome.
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