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24 Nov, 2019

Pope Francis Meets Religious Leaders in Thailand, Urges Interfaith Cooperation

BANGKOK, Nov 22 (TNA) – To promote interreligious dialogue, Pope Francis on Friday met religious leaders at Bangkok’s, Chulalongkorn University, conveying a message for interfaith cooperation and mutual respect.

In his address to the gathering at Thailand’s most prestigious university, Pope Francis said cooperation was needed more than ever in a world filled with complex challenges.

We need mutual respect, esteem and cooperation between religions “in a spirit of fraternal solidarity that can help end the many present-day forms of slavery, especially the scourge of human trafficking,” said Pope Francis.

The Pope said today’s world faced complex challenges “such as economic and financial globalization and the tragic persistence of civil conflicts resulting in movements of migration, refugees, famine and war.”

Again, the Pontiff called for mercy for the poor, saying “all of us are called not only to heed the voice of the poor in our midst: the disenfranchised, the downtrodden, the indigenous peoples and religious minorities, but also to be unafraid to create opportunities.”

Speaking of Chulalongkorn University, Pope Francis said “research and knowledge can help to open new paths for reducing human inequality, strengthening social justice, upholding human dignity, seeking means for the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and preserving the life-giving resources of our earth.”

The University was founded in 1917 by King Chulalongkorn or King Rama V who, in 1897, visited Pope Leo XIII in the Vatican.

To conclude the first papal visit to Thailand in 35 years, Pope Francis later celebrated a Holy Mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption with about 1,500 Christian youths from across Thailand.

On Saturday, Pope Francis will depart Thailand and continue his 32nd trip of his pontificate trip to Japan. (TNA)