Cardinal Bo: Asia at the Synod, between wounds and hope

The archbishop of Yangon, president of the Federation of Bishops' Conferences, led the Eucharistic celebration today with the members of the Synod in St Peter's Basilica. “Our journey of faith in Asia is not without difficulties,” he said, but this “meeting has spurred us to return to the great days of evangelisation by the Apostles.”


Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Card Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon and president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), today led the Eucharistic celebration at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter's Basilica with all the members of the Synod, which opened last week.

In his address, Card Bo focused on hope, peace and justice as the fruits the synodal journey the peoples of Asia and the whole world want to reap, starting with the wish to start afresh from the path marked out by the Apostles who sowed the seed of the Gospel in the lands of the East.

Commenting on today’s readings, Card Bo gave voice to the sufferings of his country, Myanmar, but also of many other Churches in Asia. "Our synodal journey is about healing and reconciling the world in justice and peace," he explained.

"The only way to save humanity and create a world of hope, peace and justice is the global synodality of all people. In this Synod, one of our great concerns is the legacy we will leave to the next generation.”

In fact, "The environment has been borrowed from the young, and the inheritance due to them, a more peaceful world with the integrity of creation intact, is in jeopardy,” he explained. "Global warming has devastated communities and the livelihoods of millions,” which is why Pope Francis “has called attention to the concept of intergenerational justice.”

"As bishops of Asia, we are well aware of the environmental damage inflicted on our region due to climate-driven disasters.” In addition, "We have a significant population of indigenous Christian communities, particularly in the South China Sea, central India, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

“These communities have been protectors of nature, but they have also suffered from modern ideologies, colonisation, and resource exploitation. As the FABC, we urge the world to pay attention to the destruction of huge swathes of forests, the lungs of our planet in those regions, and the increase in violence local indigenous peoples."

"Our journey of faith in Asia is not without difficulties," he warned, "but this synodal meeting has spurred us to return to the great days of evangelisation by the Apostles. We embrace with optimism the call to Asia to become the 21st century for Christ, inspired by the global Church’s synodal journey.”

Speaking about Myanmar’s Catholic community, Card Bo described it as a "small flock currently dispersed due to natural disasters and man-made crises, which cause multidimensional crises and immense suffering. Our people are on an exodus. Homes have disappeared, churches have borne the brunt of cruelty, and the Way of the Cross is a painful reality in many parts of Asia.”

Yet, "like the faithful women who followed Jesus along the Way of the Cross, the Church in Myanmar and Asia invests in the hope of reconciliation”. Thus, "Let us continue our synodal journey full of tears, trusting that, like those women, we shall see all wounds healed, and that a new dawn of hope, peace and justice will shine upon every long-suffering nation.”

Finally, "Let us pray that the Catholic Church, under the leadership of Pope Francis, will lead the entire human family on the long path of healing.”