VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has added in a private meeting with Myanmar's military chief during his upcoming trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh — an indication that the Vatican views the crackdown on Rohingya Muslims as a military operation distinct from the will of the civilian government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Vatican also confirmed Wednesday that Francis would meet with Rohingya Muslims during an interreligious peace meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Dec. 1.
Myanmar's Catholic leaders have urged Francis against using the term "Rohingya," calling it "political" and "contested." The Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke, declined to say if Francis would heed that advice during his visit, which begins when he arrives Monday in Yangon.
But Francis has used it before, and Burke added Wednesday: "It's not a prohibited word."