Pope delivers speech to diplomatic corps, cabinet ministers

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BANGKOK – Pope Francis visited Government House on Nov 22 to deliver a speech to members of the diplomatic corps, cabinet ministers, guests of honor and members of the media. The Pope lauded Thai people who live together in harmony amidst cultural diversity,

Pope Francis received a red-carpet welcome as he arrived at Government House in Bangkok on Thursday (Nov 21). The Pope was welcomed by Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha; the Foreign Affairs Minister, Don Pramudwinai; the Supreme Commander, Gen. Pornpipat Benyasri; the Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police, Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda, and commanders of the Royal Thai Armed Forces.

The Prime Minister accompanied the Pope to the Santi Maitree building to receive members of the diplomatic corps, cabinet ministers, guests of honor and members of the media. Gen. Prayut said it was a great honor to welcome the Pope, who is on a four-day visit to Thailand. His visit coincides with the 350th anniversary of the establishment of the Apostolic Vicariate of Siam in 1669 and the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and the Vatican.

The Prime Minister praised Pope Francis’s work to promote unity, reduce poverty and inequality, protect the natural environment and assist migrants and refugees who seek safety and a dignified life in a new land. He said the Pope’s work has inspired people of all religions.

Pope Francis said he is very pleased to visit Thailand. The country is rich in natural resouces and has preserved its spiritual and cultural heritage. The Pope thanked the Prime Minister for the warm reception and expressed his good intentions towards the country and the governance of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua. The Pope then paid his respects to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol.

Speaking of the global migration and refugee crisis, Pope Francis called on the international community to address the issue and ensure safe and orderly migration. The Pope said he hoped that every country will set up mechanisms to protect the rights and dignity of all migrants and refugees.

Pope Francis encouraged people to be kind, generous and compassionate to each other. The Pope then gave his blessings to the nation and its people, saying the Lord will lead them to the path of wisdom, justice and peace.