The Pope Francis thanked Dr Kumarabhivamsa, Chairman of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee for his efforts in organizing his visit to Burma. He expressed his special greetings for the presence of Thura Aung Ko, Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture.
The Pope said that his meeting with them was an important occasion to renew and strengthen the bonds of friendship and respect between Buddhists and Catholics. It was also an opportunity for them to affirm a commitment to peace, respect for human dignity and justice for every man since they helped Buddhists, Catholics and all people to strive for greater harmony in their communities.
In every age, humanity experiences injustices, moments of conflict and inequality among peoples. Even though society has made great progress in technology, and people throughout the world are increasingly aware of their common humanity and destiny. In the face of the challenges of poverty, oppression of priests nations must not resign their respective spiritual traditions.
He expressed his esteem for those in Myanmar who live in accord with the religious traditions of Buddhism. Through the teachings of the Buddha, and the dedicated witness of so many monks and nuns, the people have formed in the values of patience, tolerance and respect for life, as well as a spirituality attentive to and deeply respectful of our natural environment.
The great challenge of our day is to help people and be open to the transcendent. To realize that we cannot be isolated from one another we need to be united, surmount all forms of misunderstanding, intolerance, prejudice and hatred.
Over the years different conflicts have divided people of different cultures, ethnicities and religious convictions. Yet it is the particular responsibility of civil and religious leaders to ensure that every voice be heard.
Opportunities for religious leaders to encounter one another and to dialogue are proving to be a notable element in the promotion of justice and peace in Myanmar. In the Christian Scriptures, the Apostle Paul challenges his hearers to rejoice with those who rejoice, while weeping with those who weep (cf. Rom 12:15), humbly bearing one another’s burdens (cf. Gal 6:2). “On behalf of my Catholic brothers and sisters, I express our readiness to continue walking with you and sowing seeds of peace and healing, compassion and hope in this land”, said Pope.
Once again he thanked for inviting him. He invoked the divine blessings of joy and peace.