The Holy Father asked Myanmar’s Bishops to make a “special effort to accompany young people.” “Take care of their formation in healthy moral principles, which will guide them in addressing the challenges of a rapidly changing world,” requested Francis.
The Pope met in the afternoon (12:15 Rome time) with 22 Bishops of Myanmar in the Archbishopric of Yangon. Monsignor Felix Lian Khen Thang, President of the country’s Episcopal Conference, greeted the Pope on his arrival.
At the end of the meeting, all the Bishops greeted the Pontiff personally and had a group photo taken. Then the Holy Father blessed the first stone of 16 churches, the major Seminary, and the Apostolic Nunciature.
Finally, after a group photo with 300 seminarians, Pope Francis returned to the Archbishopric, where he met with 30 members of the missionaries of the Society of Jesus in Myanmar in the ground floor Chapel.
The Holy Father invited the Bishops to experience constantly in their episcopal ministry, “the Lord’s guidance and help,” concretizing his advice by urging them to be “committed in favour of healing and communion in every realm of the life of the Church, so that the holy People of God, through their example of forgiveness and reconciling love, can be salt and light for all hearts that aspire to that peace that the world cannot give.”
In this connection, the Pontiff said that that “healing” finds a particular expression in commitment to “the ecumenical dialogue and inter-religious collaboration.”
In regard to “accompaniment,” Francis said that “a good Pastor is constantly present before his flock, leading it while walking beside it,” and he reminded them that “the Pastor should have the smell of sheep” and that “we are called to be a “Church that goes forth,” to take the light of Christ to every periphery.”
In the third place, the Pontiff spoke of “prophecy.” “Put the Catholic community in conditions of continuing to have a constructive role in the life of the society, making your voice heard on issues of national interest, insisting particularly on respect of the dignity and rights of all, especially of the poorest and most vulnerable.”
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester