Yangon (Agenzia Fides) - "Unity and peace of the family is vital for Myanmar": says Charles Bo, Salesian Archbishop of Yangon, in a speech on the theme of family. The Archbishop recalled that the Buddhist and Christian culture have in common the great respect towards their parents. "We call God our father Abba and we consider him a loving and lovable father, who also makes us children and brothers and sisters in the Lord". "As Christians, we are called to celebrate life, to say thank you to our parents and our families", he continues.
Archbishop Bo reminds the Burmese faithful that Pope Francis has convened the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will take place in the Vatican, from 5 to 19 October 2014 on the theme "The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization". "Many of the rich countries have given up on having families and the gift of life is rejected", notes the message.
The Archbishop then refers to Myanmar as a big family: "I would like to draw attention to the urgent need for unity in the family of Myanmar. We are a diverse nation, a family with 'seven children', which are the seven major ethnic groups. We are all sons and daughters of a great nation. God has blessed us with abundant gifts, with natural and human resources. But today the nation is bleeding, stabbed repeatedly by hatred. Unity is the strength of a family, not hate".
The Archbishop noted that the nation is "at a crucial point". "What will we do today and in the next five years will determine our destiny and our history. Prosperity or poverty? Peace or chronic war? Development or displacement? Unity in diversity or interminable conflicts? The fate of Myanmar is in the hands of all of us", he says solemnly. The text condemns hatred and violence that occur in the country - especially against Burmese Muslims - and all those who "are destroying the family spirit of this country", he notes.
Archbishop Bo recalls that "people of all religious communities have worked and given their lives for this nation. In the list of martyrs killed with General Aung San (national hero), there were two Muslims, U Abdul Razak, the minister for education, and his bodyguard Maung Htwe". Men who gave their lives for the freedom and independence of Burma.
The Archbishop concludes: "Any nation that refuses to accept peace that passes through justice does it at his own risk.
Pope Paul VI urged the world: real peace is born out of justice. Our nation is conceived as a single family, knowing that our unity is in diversity and not in uniformity. Our diversity is our wealth". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 30/07/2014)