Pope Francis celebrated a huge outdoor Mass on Friday (December 1) to ordain new priests from Bangladesh on his first full day in the country where he is due to meet Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar later in the day. Photograph:( Reuters )
On the second day of his three-day visit, Pope Francis finally met Rohingya refugees in Dhaka as he appealed for "a spirit of openness, acceptance and cooperation"
During the day, Pope Francis held an open-air mass in a park in central Dhaka with around 100,000 Bangladeshi Catholics in attendance.
Francis is the first Pope to visit Bangladesh in 31 years, quite expectedly the crowd thronged to watch the Holy See with chants of "viva il papa" ("long live the Pope").
The Pope had arrived in Bangladesh on Thursday after spending three days in Myanmar to find ways and means to help solve the Rohingya crisis which has spiralled out of control in recent months.
Soon after arriving in Bangladesh the Pope met Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid.
In his speech, he praised Bangladesh's "spirit of generosity and solidarity" in helping "a massive influx of refugees from Rakhine state".
The Pope who has avoided using the term "Rohingya" during his visit to Myanmar, sidestepped using the term again in Bangladesh calling them "refugees".
He appealed to the international community to take decisive action to address the "grave crisis".