For Card Bo, only Mary can bring together "races, religions, and languages" in the Myanmar conflict
About 100,000 people of all religions took part in the annual pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Nyaunglebin. For Card Bo, the Queen of Peace is the only one who can bring about the miracle of unity. He calls for prayers to make this nation "more peaceful", and names six "jars" to heal the country’s wounds.
Yangon (AsiaNews) – Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Yangon, led the Mass during the 115th National Marian Celebration in Nyaunglebin, Bago region, south-central Myanmar.
In his homily, the prelate said that only Our Lady can unite people of all races, religions, and languages in a country torn by bloody ethnic and sectarian conflicts, victimising Rohingya Muslims in the western state of Rakhine, and Christians in the northern state of Kachin Christians.
Addressing about 100,000 people of all religions, united by the same devotion for Mary, the Myanmar cardinal stressed that the mother of Jesus is the only one who can accomplish the "miracle" of national unity.
For Card Bo this show of unity that defines the Marian pilgrimage is "a rare occurrence" and that the peace "you are enjoying” today is not shared across Myanmar.
Because of fighting in Kachin, Shan, and Rakhine, “more than 200,000 of our brothers and sisters are refugees in this land,” the prelate noted. “Neither the government nor the UN has been able to bring together unity as our Mary has done today bringing us all to her centre of hope.”
“This year we have gathered here to pray to our Mother in a special way as the Queen of Peace. We need to pray to her that this country may be more peaceful.”
“Many countries are at peace now. Cambodia is peaceful, Vietnam is peaceful. Our country, with so many resources, has been at war for the last 60 years – not with foreigners but with brother against brother.”
In response to the climate of conflict and violence, the Catholic Church in Myanmar has decided to declare 2017 the "Year of Peace" and, in this spirit, "we have come to celebrate peace” at the Nyaunglebin shrine.
The cardinal called on the faithful to set aside "concerns" and "anxiety", which threaten to undermine the peace, not only in families but also in society.
Let us "pray today as a Church in this holy shrine that the Queen of peace may remove the anxiety in the minds of all armies, the government and ethnic groups.
Lastly, the archbishop of Yangon listed Myanmar’s six "jars", which can heal the wounds of the country and bring peace and coexistence. They are – the spirit, justice, democracy, development, and reconciliation – on the basis of which the country can be rebuilt, and the family united in love, on the model of the Holy Family.
“Peace is the only way,” he stressed, “and peace with justice is possible. Knock the doors of heaven. Let the Queen of Peace, our mother, plead with her son that the emptiness of hope can be filled with the wine of peace.”