Home Catholic Church & Asia Catholic group expresses ‘rage’ over Cardinal Bo’s meeting with Myanmar junta chief

Catholic group expresses ‘rage’ over Cardinal Bo’s meeting with Myanmar junta chief

Cardinal Bo urged “all people from all walks of life to make extraordinary efforts to bring peace, unity and development to the country”

A group of Catholics in Myanmar expressed “rage” over Cardinal Charles Bo’s meeting with the country’s military chief, Min Aung Hlaing, on December 23.

The group said “the Catholic population trembled with rage, terribly upset, and saddened” over the meeting between the archbishop of Yangon and the junta leader.

“This meeting does not represent the Catholic Church and population in Myanmar,” read the statement released by the group Independent Catholics for Justice in Myanmar.




The state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported that Cardinal Bo met General Hlaing to hear Christmas carols and “talk about peaceful and prosperous affairs.”

A photo from the meeting posted on Twitter shows the cardinal cut a Christmas cake with the general.

One photo published by state media showed the two sitting together in front of a Christmas tree, while another showed General Hlaing handing over a donation of 20 million kyat (US$11,200).

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s government in February, with more than 1,300 killed in a crackdown on dissent according to a local monitoring group.

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Anti-coup militia have sprung up across the country to fight back against the junta, with some of the bloodiest fighting happening in Christian-majority areas.

The United States said in October it was “gravely concerned” about reports that security forces had committed human rights violations and destroyed more than 100 homes as well as churches in majority-Christian Chin state.

“When Christians churches are being burned, even then [Cardinal Bo] accepts to meet him [Min Aung Hlaing]” one user posted on social media beneath a report on their meeting.

“People shouldn’t go and pray where he lives.”

“This doesn’t represent Catholic people. Why are you cutting cakes with such a murderer?” another wrote.

In a message during the meeting, the cardinal urged “all people from all walks of life to make extraordinary efforts to bring peace, unity and development to the country.”

The Church leader said peace can only be achieved through “forgiveness, mutual respect, creating opportunities for the younger generation, sincere dialogue and reconciliation with all our people.” – with a report from Agence France Presse

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