Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, SDB, the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC), condemned the “horrific atrocity” of killing innocent people discovered on Christmas Day.
“The massacre of at least 35 innocent civilians in Mo So village, Hpruso, Kayah (Karenni) State is a heart-breaking and horrific atrocity which I condemn fully and unreservedly with all my heart,” Cardinal Bo said in a statement released on December 26.
Cardinal Bo, the archbishop of Yangon, offered fervent prayers for the victims, their loved ones and the survivors of the “unspeakable and despicable act of inhumane barbarity.”
“The fact that the bodies of those killed, burned and mutilated were found on Christmas Day makes this appalling tragedy even more poignant and sickening. As much of the world celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the people of Mo So village suffered the terrible shock and grief of an outrageous act of inhumanity. As many of us celebrated the light and life of the Prince of Peace, so many in Myanmar endured the darkness of death and destruction,” the statement read.
Cardinal Bo, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar (CBCM), stated that “the whole of our beloved Myanmar is now a war zone. On Christmas Eve, news came that airstrikes in Kayin (Karen) State had forced thousands of people to flee across the border to Thailand. I pray for the people of Lay Kay Kaw. Similarly, Thantlang in Chin State has endured repeated bombardment, shelling and destruction, as have so many other parts of the country, all of which are in my heart and prayers.”
Cardinal Bo asked pertinent questions: When will this end? When will decades of civil war in Myanmar cease? When will we be able to enjoy true peace with justice and true freedom? When will we stop killing one other?
Cardinal Bo said that Guns and arms are not the answer to problems.
The prelate appealed to all those holding guns to put down their weapons.
“I urge Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, to stop bombing and shelling innocent people, to stop destroying homes and churches, schools and clinics, and to begin a dialogue with the democracy movement and the ethnic armed groups,” Cardinal Bo stated.
On the other hand, Cardinal Bo pleaded with armed groups and the People’s Defence Force (PDF) to recognise that guns do not solve the crisis but rather perpetuate it, causing more deaths, more starvation, with devastating consequences for our children’s education, our economy and health.