“Rohingya” was the taboo word that Bergoglio, in the end, did not say out loud. At least not in public.
During his second day in Myanmar, Pope Francis, who on the previous day had met with the oldest and highest-ranking general in the country for only 15 minutes, spoke with Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi for 45 minutes. It was a private conversation, and most likely not a very ceremonious one, in which the pontiff must have spoken about the drama of the Rohingya community, about which he has said powerful words in the past from the window of his study overlooking St. Peter’s Square.
The man who called the Rohingya “brothers and sisters,” and who, according to confidential sources, has already taken up the matter with the Nobel Prize winner on the occasion of her visit to Rome last summer (when the Vatican and Myanmar resumed diplomatic relations), emphasized some important points in his public speech, which he also reiterated in his meeting with the local religious leaders. The Pope called for the construction of a “just, reconciled and inclusive social order,” and reminded them (as only few do nowadays) of the importance of the U.N.’s role.