Join our Lenten Campaign 2024.
Pope Francis has expressed serious concern about the plight of the "boat people" in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman sea in Southeast Asia.
The Pope, at the end of Mass for Pentecost Sunday, addressed the issue of the refugees, mostly Rohingya Muslims, from Bangladesh and Myanmar, who have sought shelter in neighboring countries. More than 3,600 have come ashore in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand since May 10. But thousands more are reported to be trapped at sea in desperate conditions.
Vatican Radio reported:
The Holy Father spoke of his appreciation for the efforts being made by those countries that have expressed a willingness to welcome those people who are facing great suffering and danger. He also encouraged the international community to provide them with the necessary humanitarian assistance.
His remarks came after the recitation of the Regina Coeli Sunday. He also recalled Saturday’s beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, killed in hatred of the faith while celebrating the Eucharist. Vatican Radio said:
This zealous pastor, he said, an example of Jesus, chose to be among his people, especially the poor and the oppressed, even at the cost of his life. He also remembered Italian nun Sister Irene Stefani of the Consolata Missionaries, who served the Kenyan people, he said, with joy, mercy and tender compassion.
The Pope underlined that the heroic example of these blesseds inspire in each of us the fervent desire to be witnesses to the Gospel with courage and self-sacrifice.