Pope Francis is already on the plane that will take him to Thailand for his 32nd apostolic journey. Like his recent predecessors, Pope Bergoglio, has undertaken a widespread visitation of the Christian communities scattered throughout the world. Pope Francis wants to meet his faithful especially the communities that are in greater need of his encouraging presence. “During may journey I will have the opportunity to meet with the catholic community of Thailand – said the Pope – to encourage them in their faith and in the contribution they make to the whole society”. This small Christian community needs to meet the Pope, this unusual and often unconventional Pope. A man who challenges the whole church to get closer to the heart of the Gospel and bring the message of salvation to the least of the earth because it is precisely from them that Jesus decided to begin his mission.
Pope Francis asks the church of Thailand to be a sign of tolerance, respect and peace in the society in which it operates, values already present in this small flock, but he also asks to be a sign of a fresh and joyful love for the poor of any creed. This is a major challenge for the Church in Thailand because it requires to overcome a well-rooted cultural barrier: the Karma. An exotic and fascinating word that hides the belief that poverty and pain are closely linked to individual behavior and, ultimately, deserved. The service in favor of the poor, therefore, is not a way to restore social justice, but a means of gaining merits and moving farther away from suffering.