80,000 Catholics to join mass prayer with Pope in Suhrawardy Uddyan


DHAKA, Nov 27, 2017 (BSS) – More than 80,000 Catholics from Bangladesh Christian community will join a mass prayer with Pope Francis at Suhrawardy Uddyan on December 1 for world harmony and peace.

“Eighty thousands Catholics from our eight Dioceses across Bangladesh will join the prayer with His Holiness Pope Francis in Dhaka for offering peace and prosperity for Christian community and also for all the people of Bangladesh,” Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario, the top Catholic official of Bangladesh told journalist at a press briefing at Kakrail Church here.

Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, will arrive here on November 30 on a three-day state visit at the invitation from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Catholic Bishops Conference of Bangladesh.

“The twofold aspects of his visit is: a state visit because he is the Head of the State of Vatican and a pastoral visit since he is the supreme pastor of the Catholic Church and its Spiritual Head,” D’Rozario, the Arch Bishop of Dhaka said.

“As his visit was fixed much earlier, we couldn’t find any arrangement for his holiness to visit Cox’s Bazaar to see the Rohingyas there,” D’Rozario said.

However, the Cardinal said they are trying to bring a small group of Rohingya in Dhaka from Cox’s Bazar camp with the approval of Bangladesh government, so that Pope can hear stories from the distressed and displaced Muslim minority of Myanmar by his own.

Responding to a question about what will be the Pope’s role in resolving Rohingya issue, the Cardinal said “He (Pope) is not the problem solver. But he can prepare the minds and hearts of many to resolve the crisis,” he said.

The Cardinal said Pope is always in favor of distress and landless people. “He is the advocate for the people who are in distress and stateless,” he added.

The cardinal hoped that the back to back visits of Pope Francis in Myanmar and Bangladesh will make a great impact in solving the Rohingya crisis as he is set to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar Military General as well as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

On November 30, Pope will arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 3 pm. From the airport he will visit National Martyr’s Memorial at Savar. He will also pay tribute to the memories of Farther of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at his portrait at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at 32 Dhanmondi.

On the same day at the evening, he will meet with President Abdul Hamid at Bangabahaban.

On December 1, Pope Francis will lead a mass prayer in Suhrawardy Uddyan at 10 am and meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at afternoon.

On December 2, Pope will meet with priests, religious and consecrated men and women, seminarians and novices in the church of the Holy Rosary. He will deliver a speech to the youth in Notre Dame College in the capital at 3.20 pm.

The Pope will leave at 5 pm on the same day after receiving an official farewell at HSIA.

Pope Francis is the second Pope visiting Bangladesh. About 31 years ago, on November 19, 1986, His Holiness Pope John Paul II officially visited Bangladesh.