UCA News


Pope praises Thailand's commitment to peace

Visit will highlight the importance of interfaith dialogue, mutual understanding and fraternal cooperation

ucanews reporter

ucanews reporter

Updated: November 17, 2019 12:03 PM GMT
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Pope praises Thailand's commitment to peace

A young patient gives flowers to Pope Francis at the end of his meeting with members of the Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) hospital during an audience on Nov. 16 at the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican. (Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP)

Share this article :
Pope Francis has praised Thailand for promoting harmony and peace in a video message ahead of his visit to the kingdom that begins on Nov. 20.

“In this world that too frequently experiences discord, division and exclusion,” Thailand has shown commitment to work hard “to promote harmony and a peaceful coexistence,” he says.

This commitment, he says, “can serve as an inspiration” for all the people around the world who are working to “promote a great, true development of our human family in solidarity, in justice and in living in peace,” Vatican News reported.

Pope Francis is visiting Thailand on his 32nd Apostolic Journey from Nov. 20-23 before heading to Japan.

In his message, he says he will have the opportunity to meet and “encourage” the Catholic community of Thailand “in their faith and in the contribution they make to the whole of society.”

He is hoping to “strengthen the bonds of friendship that we share with many Buddhist brothers and sisters.”

“I trust that my visit will help to highlight the importance of interreligious dialogue, mutual understanding and fraternal cooperation,” says the pope.

He thanks the people of Thailand “from the bottom of” his heart for all the preparation that is being made for his visit.

This is the first papal visit to Thailand in nearly four decades following the journey made by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

The trip will mark the 350th anniversary of the establishment of the Apostolic Vicariate of Siam, created in 1669, which started the Vatican mission in country.

The pope will meet King Maha Vajiralongkorn and the Supreme Patriarch of Buddhism. He will hold two Masses in Bangkok and reunite with his second cousin, Sister Ana Rosa Sivori, 77, who runs a Catholic girls’ school in Udon Thani province in the northeast.

About 93 percent of the Thai population are Buddhists. The kingdom’s 388,000-strong Catholic community makes up less than one percent of the population, with most Catholics living in the north.

Since becoming pope six years ago, Pope Francis has made three trips to Asia, visiting Korea in 2014, the Philippines and Sri Lanka in 2015,  followed by Myanmar and Bangladesh in 2017.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM


Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."