Catholic Cardinal frustrated over civil war

The Kachin Post / October 4, 2019

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Burma’s Roman Catholic Church had deeply expressed his sadness over the decades long civil war in the country, calling armed organizations to spare the innocent civilians in the conflict and religious leaders to speak out for innocent victims.

“Don’t touch the innocent civilians and religious leaders must publicly speak out to protect them,” titled in a statement released Tuesday by the Cardinal Office. Charles Bo said he is concerned over the civilians who suffered in the military conflict in Northern Shan State and Rahkine State in the west of the country.

Bo said he knows the livelihood of civilians in those areas as he had been serving almost twenty years in those regions as a Roman Catholic Bishop. No organizations try to help poor and war inflicted civilians, instead they have been injured, killed and forced to leave their homes.

“Are poor and innocent civilians enemy? Aren’t they your brother and sisters? Why are you so merciless?,” Cardinals asked both Burma Army and Ethnic Armed Organizations. The military conflicted had been intensified between the two armed groups since August 2019, resulting several civilians deaths and forced hundreds out of their homes.

Cardinal said, he feels more distress about religious leaders in that regions are closing their lips tight regarding the civilians casualties. Bo mentioned that there are five hundred thousand Buddhist monks, seventy thousand Buddhist nuns, over two thousand Catholic priests and more than twelve hundred of Christian preachers in the country. There could be sinned if they keep silent on this issues, he said.

There would have more prospect of achieving peace in the country, if the religious leaders involved to speak out against the war and anguish of the victims of the conflict. Otherwise, there will have no end for those who suffer from the civil war.

Peace is possible and there is only way, Bo said. The statement also concluded with the famous Martin Luther King Jr. Quote “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people,”

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo is the Archbishop of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Yangon since 2003. He became Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in Burma since 2015.