His Holiness Pope Francis arrives in Bangladesh today.
Pope Francis is the second supreme pontiff to grace us with his visit, after John Paul II, who visited in November 1986.
This is a momentous time for the Catholic community in Bangladesh, who will get an opportunity to meet the temporal head of their faith, the Holy Father himself.
It is also a great cause for celebration for us all, as His Holiness the Pope is a powerful global and cultural icon, whose message of inclusion, equality, and peaceful co-existence resonates with all people of good conscience, regardless of faith.
As a society committed to pluralism and inclusion, we welcome and appreciate this visit.
Widely recognised and highly regarded as a social reformer, Pope Francis is perhaps one of the most revolutionary popes in modern history, sometimes even controversial for his progressive views -- he has shown himself to be truly a pope for our divisive and troubled times.
From the very beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis has demonstrated that he is a champion of the poor and underprivileged, regardless of race or creed.
He is famous for washing the feet of the poor, the sick, and the incarcerated, as a display of the greatest mercy and love for all mankind -- a practice he started well before his papacy.
As a beacon of virtue and compassion, the Pope represents what every one of us should strive for, whether one is a Muslim, Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist.
We extend our warmest welcome to His Holiness Pope Francis to our country, and thank him for gracing us with his presence.