The presence of God today, according to Pope Francis, is “also called Rohingya.”
The leader of the Catholic Church used the word “Rohingya” in Bangladesh on Friday, the eve of his return to Rome, after meeting 16 of these Muslim refugees – survivors of what the United States and the United Nations had described as “ethnic cleansing” in Myanmar.
The pontiff listened as a girl told him that her parents and brothers had been killed. He patted the shoulders of some of the men and visibly showed signs of being moved by their stories of how they had joined an exodus of more than 620,000 people in recent months.
Francis grasped their hands and gave them his blessings during an emotionally charged few minutes witnessed by Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian leaders at the Dhaka archbishop’s residence at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
“In the name of everyone, of those who persecute you, of those who’ve done you wrong, above all, the world’s indifference, I ask you for forgiveness,” the pope said, his voice trembling with emotion.