A vendor with thanaka, a traditional cosmetic, on her cheeks wears a face mask as a preventive measure against the coronavirus at a market in Yangon, Myanmar. (Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP)
Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon has emphasized humanity, solidarity and love in his Easter message as the world grapples with coronavirus.
“We are at the dawn of a new consciousness, a radically fresh approach to our life as the human family in a fragile world,” he said. “We must insist that these measures arise from and lead to new forms of solidarity.”
Now is the time for the Church to accompany the world in this resurrection to “justice and human solidarity,” he said.
The cardinal pointed out that Covid-19 has taught us a valuable lesson: the richest and most powerful nations that have arrogantly stockpiled nuclear arms have been brought to their knees by a virus.
World powers that arrogantly negate all transcendent powers are learning with humility that life is fragile and that we all need one another.
“More than anything, all powers can learn to acknowledge the presence of a power that is above all,” Cardinal Bo said, adding that “with great pain many countries realize that they have more soldiers in the business of killing than they have doctors who can save lives.”
Cardinal Bo, who is president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, said these are dark days as a huge, suffocating cloud of fear and anxiety engulfs the whole of humanity.
“The most painful reality has been that churches are closed. The places where we sought God, where we shed our silent tears of brokenness and sought human fellowship, are now closed,” he said.
Citing Pope Francis' comment that the Church should be like “a field hospital,” available where human brokenness and the wounded need the healing touch of the Mother Church, he said “the Catholic Church is about communion. In joy and fellowship, in every Mass we gather to affirm and celebrate our communion.”
He said it's a painful moment when the Church waits amid all signs of death.
“We, Catholics and all of humanity, wait with hope that this Holy Saturday will end with a victorious Easter. Into that new world of human solidarity and love let a new Easter be born,” Cardinal Bo said.
The global death toll from Covid-19 has passed 53,000 from more than one million cases, according to the latest data.