The Latest: Pope defends public silence over Rohingya plight

The Latest on Pope Francis' trip to Asia (all times local):

12:01 a.m.

Pope Francis is defending his public silence in Myanmar over the plight of Rohingya refugees, saying a public denunciation would have "slammed the door in the face" of his hosts and prevented his overall message from being heard.

Francis said Saturday he chose instead to speak in general terms about human rights in public so that he could speak more frankly in private.

Speaking to reporters en route home from Myanmar and Bangladesh, Francis said he was "very, very satisfied" that his message had been received in his private meetings with Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar's powerful military chief, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

He said: "It's true I didn't have the pleasure of slamming the door in their face publicly with a denunciation. But I had the satisfaction of dialogue, and letting the other side dialogue, and in this way the message arrived."