Speaking to Myanmar’s political leaders last Tuesday during his visit to the country, Pope Francis 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. …

“[The people of Myanmar] suffered greatly, and continue to suffer, from civil conflict and hostilities that have lasted all too long and created deep divisions. Indeed, the arduous process of peacebuilding and national reconciliation can only advance through a commitment to justice and respect for human rights.”

We are brothers

Speaking to Myanmar’s religious leaders last Tuesday, the Pope said: “We, in this time that we have to live, we experience a global trend towards uniformity, to do everything the same. That is killing humanity. That is a cultural colonisation.

“We must understand the richness of our differences – ethnic, religious, popular – and from these differences there is dialogue. And from those differences one learns from the other, as brothers. We have one Father, we are all brothers. How beautiful it is to see the brothers united.

“We are all different, and each confession has its riches, its traditions. And this can only happen if you live in peace. Unity always comes with diversity.”

Guard against corruption

Addressing participants of a recent conference on the Church’s social teaching, the Pope said: “Guard yourselves against the social cancer of corruption. Just as, on certain occasions, ‘politics itself is responsible for the disrepute in which it is held, on account of corruption’ the same can be said of unions.

“It is terrible to see the corruption of those who call themselves trade unionists, who make agreements with business leaders and are not interested in workers, leaving thousands of colleagues without work; this is a scourge that undermines relationships and destroys many lives and many families.

“Do not allow any illicit interests to ruin your mission, so necessary in the time in which we live. The world and the whole of creation aspire with hope to be freed of corruption (cf. Rom 8: 18-22). Be makers of solidarity and hope for all. Do not let yourselves be corrupted!”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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