“Love and Peace” Itinerary
- In Myanmar there are only about 700,000 Roman Catholic Adherents so the amount can be said to be tiny compared to Myanmar’s population amounting to over 50 million. Yet, Pope Francis has decided that Myanmar be included in his itinerary. From the diplomatic point of view, diplomatic relations between Myanmar and the State of the Vatican City has lasted just for six months. Then, why did the Pontiff include Myanmar in his historic itinerary? The real cause of the inclusion can be discerned from the name of the itinerary—“Love and Peace.”
In the Papal Speech addressed by the Pontiff he said, “I would also like my visit to embrace the entire population of Myanmar and to offer a word of encouragement to all those who are working to build a just, reconciled and inclusive social order.” Pope Francis’s speech brightened the name of the papal itinerary. And, the Pope said, “The future of Myanmar must be peace, a peace based on respect for the dignity and rights of each member of society, respect for each ethnic group and its identity, respect for the rule of law, and respect for a democratic order that enables each individual and every group—none excluded—to offer its legitimate contribution to the common good.” By seeing this, evidently enough, the main objective of the Papal visit may be regarded as designed for peace and love.
State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also said, “Your Holiness, the gift of compassion and encouragement that you bring to us will be treasured.” It reflects the heart-felt welcome and delight over the Pontiff’s visit for all the people of Myanmar. As regards the youths, the Pope Francis stated, “The future of Myanmar in a rapidly changing and interconnected world will depend on the training of its young, not only in technical fields, but above all in the ethical values of honesty, integrity and human solidarity that can ensure the consolidation of democracy and the growth of unity and peace at every level of society.” To put it simply, the speech underscores the meaning of his itinerary, “Love and Peace.”