Statement of the Korean Bishops on the Present Crisis in Myanmar
Sharing Lament and Pain with Brothers and Sisters Suffering from the Crisis in Myanmar
- H. E. Charles Maung Cardinal Bo, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar, in his message on the heels of a violent crackdown on protesters, made an appeal concerning the recent painful situation in Myanmar: “Peace is possible. Peace is the only way. Democracy is the only light to that path.”
The Catholic Church in Korea expresses her deepest concern on the outbreak of violence and the subsequent bloodshed in our neighboring country, Myanmar. Only because they raised their voices calling for freedom, democracy, and peace, a number of people in Myanmar are miserably bleeding and falling down on the streets. Dignified lives that no one can deprive of are being trampled underfoot. Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng knelt down on the ground in front of heavily armed police officers and cried out; “Shoot me instead.” This outcry is still ringing loudly in our ears. Indiscriminate violence used against protesters must cease immediately. Every act of violence “leaves our world worse than it was before” (Fratelli Tutti, n.261).
In the past, Korea, too, experienced similar pain and suffering as Myanmar is now undergoing. We, all people, have learned from history that the appeals and solidarity of normal and innocent people can open doors to a new world. It is difficult to turn back the path towards defence of life, peace, freedom, and justice because it is the righteous course of history. When we work towards peace, respect for human dignity and the common good must be at the core of our endeavors (cf. Ibid, n.232). In this Lenten season when we meditate on the mystery of the Cross and the Resurrection, the Catholic Church in Korea expresses fraternal solidarity with brothers and sisters in Myanmar who are walking in the path of the Cross as sharing indescribable lament and pain of them.
We ardently pray that a national community based on democracy, which the people of Myanmar long for, will be established through open-minded dialogue at the earliest.
O Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!
March 11, 2021
The Korean Bishops