Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon has expressed concern about proposed new laws. “Conversion is an individual freedom,” Archbishop Bo said. “They cannot force anybody to become one religion or the other. Even the pope said we have to respect even the atheist who doesn’t profess any religion. I think we have to respect the conscience of each one. We cannot force them to join one religion or the other; not the parents, not the state, not the monks.” Human rights groups agree that the proposed laws curtail women’s human rights as well as religious freedom. Read more from UCAN News …
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office is calling for action to help the tragic situation of persecuted Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar. It’s Chair, Bishop Vincent Long OFMConv, is a refugee himself. He is calling on the Catholic Community across Australia to pray for the Rohingya people fleeing persecution in their homeland. Meanwhile, the ACMRO welcomed the news that the Indonesian and Malaysian governments have come to a temporary agreement to assist some of the Rohingya people. Read the media release.
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, Myanmar is committed to solving problems of religious conflict in his country. He suggests that this will take time, and a good spirit. Are we sometimes impatient and tempted to simplistic solutions in the face of complex and longstanding problems? How might the spirit in which action is taken make a difference? What examples of working patiently, and in a good spirit, on inter-religious dialogue and solving religious conflict come to mind?
Catholic Social Teaching in Asia Pacific Catholic Social Teaching principles may take root in and be expressed through every culture. Each particular experience can enhance humanity’s understanding both of reality, and of God’s call through it. By examining the local and particular, universal Catholic Social Teaching principles may be recognized and understood more deeply. Local Bishops share with the Popes in the task of teaching on issues of social justice. The international and local teachings inform one another. This website holds up the experiences of the people of the Asia Pacific region by making Asia Pacific Catholic Social Teaching more widely known. Find Asia Pacific Catholic Social Teachings
The Catholic Bishops of the Kachin and Shan states in Myanmar have called all parties to the conflict there to resume talks for peace. Read more here. The principle of subsidiarity suggests that matters should be dealt with as close as possible to the grassroots and that more overarching bodies should only get involved where this is necessary to harmonise conflicting interests for the sake of the common good. Do you think the Bishops are right in suggesting that the supervision of the international community will help in this case? How might conflicts be ended ‘with dignity’?
Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon says that: “For five decades, Burma endured crucifixion on a cross of injustice bearing five nails: dictatorship, war, displacement, poverty and oppression. Today, a new crucifixion threatens the country, with five new nails: land-grabbing, corruption, economic injustice, ethnic conflict and displacement and religious hatred and violence.” He urges all to use their new freedoms to protect the rights of all ethnicities and religious faiths and sees the messages of peace that are present in all of Burma’s religions as a resource for building the new Burma. Read more here.