There are “seven swords that pierce Mary’s heart in Myanmar,” said Cardinal Charles Maung Bo.
According to Fides, when speaking to a crowd of about 100,000 pilgrims while presiding over the Mass at the National Marian Shrine in Nyaung Lay Bin, Cardinal Bo delineated 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 of ethnic minorities; the destruction and looting of natural resources; the lack of opportunities for education and employment for the poor.”
Faced with these obstacles, the cardinal explained, “The people ask the help of our merciful Mother who we can trust because she is our loving mother,” who looks after her children with compassion.
“Christianity cannot be selfish,” reaffirmed the prelate.
In addition to lamenting that millions of Myanmar’s young people are living as refugees in neighboring countries, he said farmers are losing their land and thousands of people are living in displaced communities.
“In this time of Lent, Cardinal Bo noted, “we are called to look after each other. Just as our Mother Mary takes care of humanity.”
Cardinal Bo is the Buddhist-majority nation’s first Catholic cardinal. The archbishop, made cardinal by Pope Francis just last month, has been vocal about wishing to be a voice to the voiceless, but has admitted that religious extremism in his southeast Asian nation will make it more difficult to achieve reforms needed.