ASIA/MYANMAR - Cardinal Bo: "The risen Christ removes the stones that have trapped our people"

Monday, 26 March 2018 violence   ethnic minorities   reconciliation   bishops   human rights   peace   justice   slavery  


Yangon (Agenzia Fides) - "Easter is a day of hope. Darkness seemed to have swallowed up the small group of disciples of Christ. But the Resurrection has turned all the despair into a celebration of hope. Human history has changed that day. Hope is the secret of that wonder. But we Burmese celebrate that hope that heals and strengthens us": this is what the Message issued by Cardinal Charles Maung Bo affirms on the occasion of Easter 2018 and sent to Agenzia Fides.
"This country awaits the miracle of hope. On the day of the resurrection the disciples and the women went to the tomb but discovered that the stones had been removed from Christ’s tomb. Easter is the removal of the stones in our personal lives and in the society in which we live", notes the Cardinal, citing "the many stones that must be removed from the graves of despair in our nation".
"The first stone to be moved - says the Cardinal of Yangon - is the stone of hatred. The spiritual heritage of this nation was built on the great virtue of compassion. But the incitement to hatred was used by a small fringe of society to kill their brothers". Inviting to reconciliation Bo recalls that "the way of revenge is not the way of Jesus, which is radically different: when hatred and rejection led him to his passion and death, he responded with forgiveness and compassion".
The second stone to be removed "is the stone of injustice". "When there is no justice there is no peace. No country can impose peace on its people. Peace flourishes when it is planted on justice. Christ’s life was spent to support justice. Millions of people are buried in the grave of economic injustice in this country; thousands are buried as 'modern slaves' due to migration to neighboring countries", he notes.
The third huge weight to be moved is ethnic conflict, the Cardinal observes: "We appeal to the government and to all ethnic groups, to move away from conflict", says the message. "We had a war which lasted six decades, and the conflict devastated this country, causing three million young people to flee, and peace is the only path to follow". And he adds, citing Pope Francis: "The future of Myanmar must be peace, a peace based on respect for the dignity and rights of everyone, respect for each ethnic group and its identity, respect for the rule of law and a democratic order that allows each individual and each group to offer their legitimate contribution to the common good".
The text concludes: "The message of Easter is clear: the Church is an instrument of peace and works with all the parties involved in working for peace built on justice. The Gospel we preach is above all a message of healing, reconciliation and peace.
Through the blood of Christ’s cross, God reconciled the world with himself and sent us to be messengers of healing grace. Here in Myanmar, this message has a particular resonance, as this country strives to overcome deeply rooted divisions, to build national unity".
As Christians in Burma "we accompany people in their interminable lent and undertake the sacred pilgrimage of peace by participating and supporting the Pang Long Peace Conference". The Church will use its local and international influence to promote lasting peace based on justice", notes Bo. "The joys and sufferings of the people of this country are the joys and sufferings of the Church of Christ, which with Resurrection defeated death" and "removes the stones that have trapped our people". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 26/3/2018)


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