Cardinal Charles Bo calls for “fasting from anger” in his lenten appeal as protests against the military coup in Myanmar intensify.
On Sunday, the Archbishop of Yangon, also the President of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, encouraged his flock to fast and pray for the during “the most challenging times of our personal life and the life of the country.”
Noting the combined challenges of lockdown and the “despair” brought on by the coup, he expressed his hope for the future.
“This country cannot be always on the way of the Cross of suffering,” he said, “let us start our forty days with hope, with prayer for reconciliation to our nation,” he continued.
Praying for the “dove of peace” to return to Myanmar, Bo urged the faithful of Yangon to follow the Pope’s call for a new type of fast.
“[The] Pope calls specifically for a new type of fasting: fasting from anger, fasting from mutual hatred, fasting from insatiable hunger for power, fasting from vengeance,” he said.
“Like Noah, we need to see the rainbow of peace and prosperity, forgiveness and reconciliation. Let the dove of peace return to our nation.”
Warning against the “lockdown of addiction to power”, the amassing of “vulgar wealth” and oppression, he noted that “the mightiest powers will fall and their graves may become history.
Last week, hundreds of Myanmar’s 750,000-strong Catholic minority joined the daily pro-democracy protests across the country. Clergy and laypeople alike took to the streets to pray for peace.
On Sunday, over 1,000 protested outside the US embassy in Yangon. The previous day, hundreds more Catholics recited prayers on the streets of Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city. Christians from other denominations also joined Catholics in cities across Kachin and Chin states.
The daily protests against the coup in Myanmar have steadily grown in size, peaking yesterday as people across the country answered calls for a general strike amid threats of lethal force from the military authorities.