Yangon, Myanmar, 15 August 2019 -- On the Feast Day of the Assumption of Mary (15 August), Cardinal Charles Bo, SDB, published his passionate and personal reflection on the 'Love of God for the people and Nations of Asia'. In the four parts of the Salesian Cardinal's reflection we can follow his thoughts on the rights and duties of all people (part 1), then addressing the quest for peace and the legitimate role of defence of a nation (part 2), then the importance of religious freedom (part 3)
The full text of Cardinal Charles Bo's reflection can be downloaded (Boscolink: https://www.bosco.link/resources/50184).
In the second part, Cardinal Bo ponders on the typical Asian experience - unity in diversity:
"Growing up in the Catholic Church, I became accustomed to the concept of unity in diversity. I was educated by Salesians and, inspired by the example of Don Bosco who lived an active life caring for the young and the poor, I became a Salesian myself. But the Church is a house of many rooms, and I cherish the diversity of intellectual, spiritual and vocational callings expressed in the different religious traditions of the one Church – the Jesuits, the Dominicans, the Benedictines, the Franciscans, the Carmelites, and many others. We are one Church, but with a wide range of expressions of being the Church, and the same is true of Myanmar.
In the third part our Salesian Cardinal reflects on the peace process in his native Burma - Myanmar:
"I see Myanmar as a garden. In a garden, flowers of different colours, shapes, sizes, and needs grow alongside each other. Each one individually is beautiful, and the individual beauty of each particular flower is not denied or suppressed by the collective beauty and colour of the garden itself. Each one can be appreciated, and taken as a whole they can inspire. Flowers do not fight, compete, displace each other or dominate each other.
Also in the fourth part on religious freedom, Cardinal Charles brings his native village experience of inter-religious dialogue:
"Similarly, it is why I chose to turn the celebration of my episcopal Silver Jubilee (25 years) into an initiative to promote inter-faith relations in my home village of Monhla, four hours by rough roads from Mandalay. One particular evening we were joined by a Buddhist monk, a Muslim leader, a Hindu, and a Protestant pastor and together we spoke of our vision for inter-faith harmony and religious freedom. Together we lit a candle for peace. Those sort of gestures, symbolic acts, send a message to grassroots communities and as long as they are followed up with grassroots action and community life together, they make a difference."
We are grateful for this reflection with a wider Catholic vision, rooted in the challenging environment of Myanmar and larger context of Asia.
Website of the FABC: http://www.fabc.org/