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In Myanmar, Francis Calls for Peace but Doesn’t Say ‘Rohingya’

In a Facebook post after Monday’s meeting, the general denied that religious prejudice existed in Myanmar. “His speech is always the same,” said Mariano Soe Naing, a spokesman for the Myanmar Catholic bishops conference.

For that very reason, many humanitarian groups hoped Pope Francis would say something very different. Instead, he gave carefully worded remarks on Tuesday that sought to depict religious differences as a source of enrichment, tolerance and nation-building.

“The religions can play a significant role in repairing the emotional, spiritual and psychological wounds of those who have suffered in the years of conflict,” he said. “Drawing on deeply held values, they can help to uproot the causes of conflict, build bridges of dialogue, seek justice and be a prophetic voice for all who suffer.”

Some diplomats thought it was for the best that the pope had not explicitly mentioned the Rohingya.

“The problem is that with the press, maybe some human rights organizations, the expectations are very high,” said Nikolay Listopadov, Russia’s ambassador to Myanmar, after exiting the hall in the International Convention Center where the speeches took place. “They usually expect some miracles. But even the pope can’t just produce a miracle right now.”

Source: NYT > World

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