Aung San Suu Kyi

Pope defends Myanmar silence, says he spoke truth in private

Pope Francis on Saturday defended his 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 message from being heard.

Francis said he chose instead to speak in general terms about human rights in public so that he could engage more frankly in private about what the U.N. has said is a textbook campaign of ethnic cleansing against Myanmar's Muslim minority.

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...