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Pope in Myanmar; meets controversial Buddhist monk; heres more about the meeting

Pope in Myanmar; meets controversial Buddhist monk; heres more about the meeting

Pope Francis, on a visit to Myanmar, has met with a Myanmar Buddhist leader who’s been criticized for using ethnic slurs against Muslims.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke informed that Pope Francis met briefly with Buddhist leader Sitagu Sayadaw separately from an interfaith meeting with other religious leaders at the Catholic archbishop’s residence in Yangon.

Burke said the encounter was “always in an effort to encourage peace and fraternal coexistence as the only way ahead.”

Sitagu has been criticized for using slurs against Muslims, particularly the Rohingya, who are denied citizenship in Myanmar and the target of a much-criticized military crackdown.

The Vatican says the pope stressed a message of “unity in diversity” in a 40-minute meeting with Myanmar’s Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders.

Spokesman Greg Burke said Francis told the local religious leaders they should work together to rebuild the country and that if they argue, they should argue like brothers, who reconcile afterward.

He arrived in the country on Monday and is scheduled to meet later with the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the capital.

Pope Francis will be meeting with leaders of Myanmar’s different religious communities at the Catholic archbishop’s residence in Yangon.

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