UCA News


Cardinal Bo lauds Myanmar Catholics’ care for poor

Churches may be closed but the heart of Christianity is not closed, he says

Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Cardinal Bo lauds Myanmar Catholics’ care for poor

Good Shepherd sisters provide food to poor families in Mandalay on May 1. (Photo: Good Shepherd Myanmar Foundation)

Share this article :
Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon has praised the response of Myanmar’s dioceses and religious to the poor as great gestures of love to brothers and sisters in suffering.

“Churches may be closed but the heart of Christianity is not closed,” he said.

Cardinal Bo said religious, Catholic business people and dioceses have broken bread with the hungry in the slums, IDP camps and villages through supplying food to thousands of people.

“Our doors are opened to brothers and sisters in need of isolation or quarantine. Being a small church has not deterred us from reaching out,” he said in a homily on May 17.

“We are glad that our faith is in action. We bear witness to Christ’s love through acts of charity.”

Cardinal Bo, who is president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, stressed that charitable works to suffering people are “the great evangelization today.”

“Those of us who are used to seeing Christ only in the churches, now we are in the streets, carrying his great message of love and sharing among our brothers and sisters,” he said.

The outspoken cardinal said that sharing of resources is not an NGO’s work and that is “the great blessing.”

“We work with great humility that in this work we encounter Christ himself as the Bible affirms,” he said.

The cardinal has called for prayers for those who are in refugee and IDP camps and for thousands of migrant workers who are struggling to return.

Cardinal Bo said in this time of pandemic when human beings are afraid of one another and social distancing keeps us from our dear ones, “there are many temptations to forget people below us.”

“The pope has warned that humanity can be struck by four new viruses worse than Covid-19: selfishness, indifference, disdain towards the poor and vulnerable and confusion of values,” he said.

Public Masses suspended again

Churches in Myanmar remain closed and Catholics will continue to take part in online Sunday Masses until May 31 in compliance with the government’s measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The government has extended restrictions including a ban on public and religious gatherings, suspension of visas and international flights from May 15 until May 31.

Regional governments have eased some restrictions in four townships in Yangon and one in Sagaing. However, six townships in Yangon regarded as hotspots will remain under semi-lockdown.

Restaurants and tea shops in the Yangon region have been allowed to reopen with eat-in dining.

Mandalay regional government has also eased measures by allowing markets and construction sites to reopen, but restaurants are restricted to takeaway and delivery services.

The curfew in most parts of Myanmar has been eased and is now in force from midnight to 4am.

Myanmar has reported 187 Covid-19 cases including six deaths and 97 recoveries, according to the latest data.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM


Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."