Archbishop Marco Tin Win of Mandalay has called for human dignity and property to be respected following attacks on civilians in several villages by Myanmar’s military junta.
Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon has sought the intercession of Mary for protection, healing and mercy for conflict-torn Myanmar, which has been in turmoil since the February 2021 military coup.
A young priest from Myanmar has thanked Pope Francis for his frequent and vocal calls for peace as citizens continue to die protesting for democracy, saying the pope’s support has given people in the country hope.
As security forces in Myanmar have increased their crackdown on civilians, with disappearances, detentions and the killing of peaceful protesters, Pope Francis appealed for an end to violence and the start of dialogue.
U.S. President Joe Biden ordered new sanctions against the military regime in Myanmar to prevent six generals from accessing $1 billion in Myanmar government funds in the United States.
Pope Francis said Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic shows there are parts of the world that are “seriously ill,” not as a result of the virus but in its natural environment, its economic and political processes, and even more so in in its human relationships.
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon has appealed to the people of Myanmar — including the army, which staged a coup Feb. 1 — to remain calm and to work for open lines of communication so democracy can prevail.
At a distance, it’s easy to judge Pope Francis’ visit to Myanmar, the first by a pope to this overwhelmingly Buddhist nation, in absolutes – will he or won’t he publicly acknowledge the plight of the Rohingya, for instance, or will his presence push the nation in the direction of greater democracy and peace, or won’t it?
Pope Francis’ call to ‘go into the peripheries’ is real. In his brief pontificate, he has shown his concern for the poor by calling the Church ‘of the poor and for the poor.’ He has drawn the attention of the world leaders and all concerned by declaring Nov. 19 as a day of the world poor.
Pope Francis’ trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh will offer moments to recognize each nation’s struggle for independence, underline interreligious respect and encourage the local minority Catholic communities.