Pope leads mass with 80,000 Catholics in Dhaka

Pope leads mass with 80,000 Catholics in Dhaka

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Pope Francis led an open-air Holy Mass at Suhawardy Udyan joined by around 80,000 Bangladeshi Catholic from across the country and prayed for the peace and harmony in Bangladesh and elsewhere of the world.

With a chorus rendition of a prayer song, the Holy Mass, a prayer service began around 10:00 am attended by Tens of thousands of Bangladeshi Catholics, diplomats and foreigners working here at different international bodies have travelled to the capital hoping to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis.

The entire crowd got excited with joy and happiness while Pope Francis entered the ground standing on a small open van waving his hands to his Catholic followers.

“I know many of you travelled for two days to reach here. I thank you for your generosity. This shows the love for betterment embedded in your hearts. The love you nurture for Jesus Christ. Thank you for being in faith,” Pope said in his short speech.

Apart from the prayer, Pope, the leader of all Roman Catholic around the world, presided over a sacramental ceremony where some 16 priests were ordained. “Some may ask ‘how do I help these priests?’ As followers of Christianity, it is your duty to support them with your prayers and nurturing. The first and foremost step is to pray,” said Pope Francis during the rituals started at 10:45am.

The Mass ended after 12pm when the pope Francis left the Suhrawardy Udyan grounds after exchanging greetings with all Bishops of Bangladesh.

Pope is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina around 3:30pm at the embassy of Vatican City here.

Later, the Holy Highness will attend two separate meetings with Bishops and a gathering of leaders and scholars of different religions at Ramna Cathedral in the city.

Pope received a red carpet reception when he arrived in Dhaka yesterday for a three-day visit after he wrapped up his Myanmar tour sending out a message that justice and human rights are the foundation of peace in an apparent reference to Rohingya crisis.

Last night at civic reception at Bangabhaban, the Pope said the international community must take “decisive measures” to address the Rohingya crisis taking into account the “gravity of the situation”.

“None of us can fail to be aware of the gravity of the situation, the immense toll of human suffering involved, and the precarious living conditions of so many of our brothers and sisters, a majority of whom are women and children, crowded in the refugee camps,” the Pope said.

He said the international community should do it by not only by working to resolve the political issues that have led to the mass displacement of people, but also by offering immediate material assistance to Bangladesh in its effort to respond effectively to urgent human needs.

Pope Francis appreciated Bangladesh’s stance in providing refuge to tens of thousands of forcibly displaced people saying “This has been done at no little sacrifice (and), it has also been done before the eyes of the whole world”.

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