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Christian leaders see Church's growth in first Myanmar cardinal

Cardinal-designate, Archbishop Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, Myanmar.  - EPA

Cardinal-designate, Archbishop Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, Myanmar. - EPA

10/01/2015 16:41

Christian leaders in Myanmar see in the appointment of Salesian Archbishop Charles ‎Maung Bo of Yangon as cardinal  an acknowledgement of the growth of the Catholic mission in the ‎country.  Bishop Felix Lian Khen Thang of Kalay, the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of ‎in Myanmar (CBCM), said Archbishop Bo’s appointment "is the culmination of the activities of the ‎mission of the Church in Myanmar".   Archbishop Bo is among 20 bishops and archbishops Pope ‎Francis named on Jan. 4, who he will raise to the ‎rank of cardinal in a consistory on February 14.  ‎ ‎‎"Cardinal Bo is bold enough to tell the truth, both on social and religious issues, political affairs, on ‎matters affecting the Church," Bishop Thang said.  The cardinal-delegate comes at a delicate moment ‎for the history of the country, engaged in a democratic transition, after years of dictatorship, and on the ‎eve of new elections which should take place in the autumn of 2015.  In addition, the nation is ‎struggling with problems of religious intolerance, in particular on behalf of some Buddhist groups ‎towards Muslims of the ethnic Rohingya.  ‎

Benedict Rogers of the NGO Christian Solidarity Worldwide described Archbishop Bo as "a man of ‎great qualities: courage, wisdom, compassion, humility, humour, hospitality and generosity".  "In ‎particular, he was one of the most outspoken religious leaders in Burma on issues of human rights, ‎religious freedom, democracy, and injustice," Rogers said.  In Myanmar Catholics are about 1% of a ‎total population of 51 million inhabitants, mostly Buddhists.

10/01/2015 16:41