Pope Francis in thought Dec. 2, 2017, during a flight back from his historic seven-day trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh. (Photo Vincenzo Pinto/AFP)
From Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, Pope Francis traveled to Myanmar and Bangladesh on his 21st international apostolic voyage. On Wednesday, Nov. 29, following his encounter with the bishops of Myanmar, Pope Francis entered the chapel on the ground floor of the archbishop’s house in Yangon to meet 31 Jesuits based in the country. Later in Bangladesh, he met more Jesuits there. Here’s how you can read the text of the Q&A. Read more.
Pope Francis sat down and said he needed an English translator, promptly presenting Monsignor Mark Miles. Jokingly, the pope added, "He is a good man and will not reveal any of the Jesuit secrets we will talk about here." And then he spontaneously thanked those present.
On the afternoon of Dec. 1, during his visit to Bangladesh, the pope met a group of Rohingya refugees. He welcomed them, listened to their stories, and asked one of them to pray. At the end, he went to the Apostolic Nunciature in the capital, Dhaka, where 13 Jesuits who carry out their mission in that country were waiting for him in a room, seated in a circle.
This text is the record of the exchanges between Pope Francis and the local Jesuits and it comes to you courtesy of La Civilta Cattolica, the distinguished Jesuit periodical published for 167 years. In February, Pope Francis received the first edition of La Civilta Cattolica in English, Spanish, French and Korean. It was the occasion of the 4,000th edition of the periodical in Italian since the work was entrusted to the Society by Pope Pius IX in 1850! The English edition selects only those articles first published in Italian that are of worldwide interest and value.
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In meditating on the words used by the pontiff in these conversations it is always necessary to remember what he himself wrote in the preface to a volume Father Antonio Spadaro edited, which contains his earlier conversations with Jesuits during his trips: "I must say that I felt these moments as being very free, especially when they happen during my journeys: this is the occasion to make my first thoughts on that trip. I feel at home and I speak our family’s language, and I do not fear misunderstandings. So, what I say can sometimes be a little risky." He added: "Sometimes what I feel I have to say to myself, it is important for me too. In the conversations, some important things are born in me, upon which I can then reflect."
Click here to download the text in English.