ASIA/MYANMAR - A trace of mercy in a Buddhist country: Francis’ legacy

Yangon - Pope Francis left an evangelical trace of compassion and mercy in a majority Buddhist country. The Burmese population clearly perceived his message of peace and reconciliation: this is what remains of Pope Bergoglio’s visit to Myanmar, as leaders and faithful Catholics who participated and followed the various moments of the apostolic visit point out to Agenzia Fides.
Joseph Kung Za Hmung, lay Catholic, founder of the Catholic service of mass-media and web "Gloria Tv" explains to Agenzia Fides: "There is an enthusiastic climate in the Catholic community today. We are really happy for this historic event. The small Burmese Church really felt supported and encouraged by the Pope, who came to visit a suburb. Above all young people were in particular affected by his closeness.
They are our hope and the whole Burmese Church will benefit from this renewed enthusiasm, in giving the country the Gospel of reconciliation, healing and peace".
A second level of the impact of Francis's visit is that of interreligious dialogue: "The meeting with Buddhist leaders in the Buddhist temple of Yangon left its mark on public opinion. The Buddhist leaders today say they greatly appreciated the respectful attitude of the Pope who did not come to impose anything, but came to give his testimony as a man of God, a man of dialogue and peace, a spiritual leader who recognizes the dignity of every human being he meets".
Finally, the purely "political" value of the visit: "The Pope's presence - concludes Joseph Kung Za Hmung - also had a political value because with civil authorities there was talk of inclusion of minorities, of peace process, of healing the country’s wounds, with a view to building the common good, and respecting human rights.This evangelical message has a political impact, which was brought with delicacy and clarity. We hope it can have a concrete effect in the dialogue conference between the government and ethnic minorities, for example", but also in other areas of public life, "like the construction of democracy, so that the country is always inspired by the principles of justice, peace and development that is the same for all".