Pope Francis accepts PM's invitation to visit Thailand

Pope Francis accepts PM's invitation to visit Thailand

Pope Francis has accepted an invitation to visit Thailand, the government said yesterday. The invitation was extended to the Pope by PM Yingluck Shinawatra during her visit to the Vatican yesterday.

Please join us on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bangkokpostlearning

Pope Francis, left, talks with Thai Prime Minster Yingluck Shinawatra during a private audience at the Vatican on Thursday. (EPA/pool photo)

Pope Francis accepts PM's invitation to visit Thailand.

Thanida Tansubhapol

Pope Francis has accepted an invitation to visit Thailand, the government said yesterday.

The invitation was extended to the Pope by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra during her visit to the Vatican yesterday. It is unclear when the papal visit will take place.

In a meeting at the Apostolic Palace with Pope Francis – the first visit to the Vatican by a Thai prime minister since Field Marshall Plaek Pibulsonggram in 1955 – Ms Yingluck said bilateral ties with the Holy See date back to when Ayutthaya was the Thai capital more than 390 years ago.

She said her visit was also a show of respect for Catholicism, which has "influenced the world and humanity". Ms Yingluck said the Catholic faith had promoted human rights and helped solve many problems on a global level as well as in Thailand.

Pope Francis praised what he said were Thailand's unhindered religious freedoms.

Pope Francis and Thai Prime Minster Yingluck Shinawatra discuss a gift during a private audience at the Vatican on Thursday. Photo from PM's Facebook page.

Ms Yingluck said Catholics in Thailand have held important roles in driving the country's economy and have contributed to society's progress. Thailand is home to about 370,000 Catholics.

Turning to global issues, the Pope and Ms Yingluck discussed poverty and their mutual aspirations for better standards of living.

The Vatican and the prime minister agreed they will support efforts to increase access to public health and maintain peace through inter-faith dialogue.

Earlier, Ms Yingluck met with her Italian counterpart, Enrico Letta, in Rome where they discussed the development of Asean and free trade and economic cooperation in the region.

The prime minister also witnessed the signing of several memoranda of understanding to forge bilateral ties on the development of small and medium enterprises, military affairs, and between the Board of Investment of Thailand and the Italian Trade Commission.

Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
: :


  • access: having the opportunity to have or use something - มีโอกาสในการใช้
  • aspiration: something that you want to achieve, or the wish to achieve something - ความปรารถนา,ความอยาก
  • audience: a formal meeting that you have with an important person, expecially royalty - การเข้าเฝ้า
  • bilateral ties (relations): relations involving two countries - ความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างสองประเทศ
  • Board of Investment (BOI) (noun): an agency of the Government of Thailand to promote investment in the country - สำนักงานคณะกรรมการส่งเสริมการลงทุน
  • capital: the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from - เมืองหลวง
  • contribute to: to help to cause an event or situation - ช่วยก่อให้เกิด
  • cooperation: a situation in which people or organisations work together to achieve a result that will benefit all of them - การร่วมมือกัน
  • counterpart: someone/something who has the same job or purpose as another person or thing, but in a different country, time, situation, or organisation - ผู้ที่ทำงานประเภทเดียวกัน; ผู้ที่อยู่ในตำแหน่งเสมอกัน
  • dialogue: formal discussion between two groups or countries, especially when they are trying to solve a problem, end a disagreement, etc - การสนทนา
  • enterprise: an organisation, especially a business - กิจการ, บริษัท,อุตสาหกิจ,วิสาหกิจ
  • extend: to offer or give something to somebody - ให้กับ, มอบ...ให้...
  • faith (noun): strong religious belief - ศรัทธาในศาสนา
  • forge: to develop a successful relationship - หลอม สานสัมพันธ์
  • free trade: when goods and services can pass freely between different countries without paying taxes, tariffs or encountering other "barriers to trade" - การค้าเสรี
  • global: throughout the world - ทั่วโลก
  • Holy See (noun): the Roman Catholic court at the Vatican in Rome; the job or authority of the Pope - นครรัฐวาติกัน, ตำแหน่งสันตะปาปา
  • human rights: the basic rights which it is generally considered all people should have, such as justice and the freedom to say what you think - สิทธิมนุษยชน
  • humanity: people in general - คนทั่วไป, มนุษย์โลก
  • influence: to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves or thinks - มีอิทธิพลต่อ, ชักจูง อำนาจบังคับ
  • inter-faith (adj.): between different religions - ระหว่างศาสนาที่แตกต่างกัน
  • invitation: a written or spoken request asking someone to meet you or to do something with you - คำเชิญ
  • issue: matter; a subject that people discuss or argue about - ประเด็น
  • level: a position or rank in a scale of size or importance - ระดับ
  • maintain: to keep - รักษา
  • memorandum of understanding (MOU): a document used to describe a form of a written agreement between two or more groups, countries, etc. The document is not as strong as a contract but outlines a commitment between the two to work together toward the same purpose or goals -
  • mutual: felt or done in the same way by each of two or more people - ซึ่งกันและกัน, ร่วมกัน, ทั้งสองฝ่าย
  • papal (adj.): connected with the Pope - เกี่ยวกับองค์สันตะปาปา
  • poverty: the condition of being extremely poor - ความจน
  • praise: to express strong approval or admiration - ยกย่อง, ชื่นชม
  • region: a large area of land or space, usually without exact limits or borders - ภูมิภาค, ขอบเขต, แถบ, บริเวณ
  • respect: a feeling of admiration that you have for someone/something because of their personal qualities, their achievements, or their status, and that you show by treating them in a polite and kind way - ความเคารพ, ความนับถือ
  • role: the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship - บทบาท
  • standard of living (noun): the amount of money and level of comfort that a particular person or group has - มาตรฐานการครองชีพ
  • unhindered: not stopped or prevented from doing something - ไม่ถูกขัดขวาง
  • witness (verb): to be present when an official document is signed and often to sign it yourself to prove that you saw this happen - เป็นพยาน

Do you like the content of this article?