Pope says he did not mention Rohingya, & # 39; Everyone knew what he thought & # 39; – tech2.org

Pope says he did not mention Rohingya, & # 39; Everyone knew what he thought & # 39;


ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE – Pope Francis defended his decision on Saturday not to use the word "Rohingya" to refer to the Muslim minority persecuted in Myanmar while he was in the country this week, saying: "It was not the first time I used it, several times from the Plaza de San Pedro in the Angelus or the public audience, I named them, they all knew what I thought. "

The Pope responded to a question from a journalist who asked him if he regretted not having used the word Rohingya while he was in Myanmar from November 27 to 30.

"For me, the most important thing is for the message to arrive," he said.

The Pope said that he had realized that if he used the word in his public comments, he would be "slamming the door" in the local government. "But I described the situation," he said, appealing for the rights of all to be respected, without anyone being excluded, and asking that everyone be granted citizenship.

Since the end of August, the military in Myanmar has perpetrated an ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority Rohingya, forcing some 625,000 of them to Bangladesh. Since the 1980s, their country of origin does not recognize them as citizens, but as "Bengali intruders", despite the fact that they have been in the Rakhine state for generations.

"It's true, I did not have the satisfaction of publicly beating the door, but I had the satisfaction of building a dialogue," he said. "This is very important in communication, that the message arrives With violence, the dialogue closes, the door closes and the message does not arrive".

Francis's words came as he answered questions from reporters traveling with him during his visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh. [19659002] During the pressure of one hour, the Argentine pontiff took charge of the narrative, deciding to answer only questions related to the trip, with two exceptions, which were raised before he asked for more questions related to the trip: deterrence nuclear and a possible trip to India, originally planned for this, on a tour that would include Bangladesh, but not Myanmar.

Regarding nuclear deterrence, Francis said that in his opinion, "we are at the limit of what is lawful" when it comes to possessing and using nuclear weapons, "he said.

The Pope was asked about a Speech he gave a month ago at a conference on nuclear disarmament organized by the Vatican, which included a dozen Nobel Peace Prize winners, and representatives of a handful of nuclear powers, including the United States and Russia. [19659002] At that time, the pontiff had said that nuclear weapons are not only immoral, but "must also be considered an illegal means of war." [19659002] The question he asked contradicted his words with what John Paul II wrote in 1982, in a letter to the United Nations: "In current conditions, the & # 39; deterrence & # 39; it is based on balance, certainly not as an end in itself but as a step forward the road to progressive disarmament can still be considered morally acceptable. "

Francis was asked if anything in the current global situation, in particular The threats and insults exchanged by US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had caused the change of position.

"Irrationality has changed," Francis said. "From the moment Pope John Paul II He said this, many years have pbaded. "

In these years, nuclear weapons have developed to the point that people can be killed leaving the infrastructure intact, he said. [19659002] The Pope said that question was asked , "not as a papal magisterium, but as a Pope asking the question", it is legitimate to continue having nuclear arsenals as they are, or if "saving creation, humanity, it is not necessary to take a step back s ".

After questioning nuclear energy, saying that it is difficult to control it," think about the accident in Ukraine ", he insisted that he believes that the world is at the limit of what is lawful", because [these] weapons are defeating by destroying. "

As a footnote, Francis's declaration in October is based on an appeal made by Pope Benedict XVI, who in his 2006 World Day of Peace message wrote about governments that have nuclear weapons to guarantee the security of their countries: He called the attitude not only "pernicious but also completely misleading".

"The truth of peace requires that everyone, whether those governments that openly or secretly possess nuclear weapons, or those that plan to acquire them, agree to change their course through clear and firm decisions, and fight for progressive nuclear disarmament and concerted, "wrote Benedict, echoing the condemnation of the possession of nuclear weapons by the Second Vatican Council and the encyclical of Pope John XXIII Pacem in terris . [19659002] In addition, the official position of the Vatican on nuclear deterrence became clear in 2014, when the Holy See distributed a document entitled "Nuclear disarmament: time of abolition" during the Vienna Conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. In it, the Church affirmed that "the nuclear weapons system can no longer be considered a policy that stands firmly in the moral field."

Regarding India, Francis said that the documentation necessary for the trip to take too long, and time was running out.

"It was providential," he said. "To visit India, you need an independent trip, you have to go south, to the center, to the north, to the east, due to the different cultures of the country, I hope to leave in 2018."

As he usually does when he talks about planning with anticipation, he added, "if I'm alive."

In another moment, the Pope reiterated that "I would like to know China, I do not deny it".

Asked about recent criticism from some quarters of the international community by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has headed the first democratically elected government in Myanmar in over sixty years, the Pope said that I had heard about that. However, he added, in Myanmar it is difficult to evaluate a critique without asking what could be realistically expected.

"Myanmar's situation is one of political growth, in transition, which has many historical cultural values, but is in transition," the Pope said. "The possibilities [of action] should also be evaluated in this light."

Beyond the Pope's decision not to use the word "Rohingya" during the trip, another issue that extended throughout the trip was his meeting with General Min Aung Hlaing, which took place on Monday, shortly after its landing The meeting, held at the residence of the bishop where Francis stayed during the trip, was a last minute addition to the program, originally scheduled for Friday, and the local press interpreted the change as the army trying to prove that the army still manages the country.

The pontiff said the change was due to the fact that the Burmese military commander had a scheduled trip to China.

"I was interested in the dialogue, and they came to me," Francis told reporters. Once he said his message was coming, he "dared to say everything I wanted to say."

Moving forward in Myanmar, he said, will be complicated, but it will not be easy for those who want to go back, due to the "conscience of humanity", which has recognized the crisis, with the United Nations calling the Rohingyas the most persecuted ethnic and religious minority in the world.

Prior to the trip, his third to Asia, many experts and human rights groups had challenged the Pope's decision to be discreet, saying that his moral authority would be tarnished if he did not say the word. Francisco met with a group of 18 Rohingya in Bangladesh, asking for their forgiveness for "the indifference of the world".

RELATED: At the meeting, the Pope asks for the forgiveness of Rohingya & # 39; for the indifference of the world & # 39;

Francis said he was following the advice of his people on the ground, who insisted vehemently that he did not use the word, saying it would make the situation worse.

"I knew I was going to find them, I did not know where or how, but it was a condition for the trip," he said on Saturday. After meeting them, while apologizing for the indifference of humanity for their situation, the Pope wept, "but I did not want to be noticed."

What he said about his meeting with the general helps explain his decision: "He asked to speak, I greeted him, I never close the door, you ask to speak, you see, you do not lose anything talking, it's always a victory".

He refused to give details because it was a private conversation, but he said "I did not negotiate the truth". But I did it in a way that it is clear that returning to the path of the past is not viable. "

In the past, it refers to a military dictatorship, which could return at any time, because the constitution of Myanmar, drafted by the military in 2008, have a provision for this, in the event that the democratic government is "in crisis".

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