THERE are “seven swords that pierce Mary’s heart in Myanmar”, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo said.
According to Fides, when speaking to a crowd of about 100,000 pilgrims while celebrating Mass at the National Marian Shrine in Nyaung Lay Bin, Cardinal Bo outlined the seven struggles facing the people of Myanmar.
“The seven swords of Our Lady of Sorrows in Myanmar,” he said, “are: crony capitalism, so few families have everything; the refusal to resolve conflicts through dialogue, but with the use of violence; unjust laws that continue to deprive the poor of their lands; the criminal economy of drugs and human trafficking; discrimination against ethnic minorities; the destruction and looting of natural resources; the lack of opportunities for education and employment for the poor.”
“The people ask the help of our merciful Mother who we can trust because she is our loving mother”, who looked after her children with compassion, he said.
“Christianity cannot be selfish.”
In addition to lamenting that millions of Myanmar’s young people were living as refugees in neighbouring countries, he said farmers were losing their land and thousands of people were living in displaced communities.
“In this time of Lent we are called to look after each other. Just as our Mother Mary takes care of humanity,” he said.
Cardinal Bo is the Buddhist-majority nation’s first Catholic cardinal.
The archbishop, made cardinal by Pope Francis last month, has been vocal about wishing to be a voice to the voiceless, but has admitted religious extremism in his South-East Asian nation would make it more difficult to achieve the reforms needed.