With The People and For The People of Myanmar
KMSS is the Social Pastoral Arm of the Catholic Church in Myanmar. We wish to share with our people, friends and other stakeholders, our concerns, our hopes and prayers at this most challenging time in our people’s history.
We release this message, affirming the sentiments expressed by Pope Francis’ poignant call for peace and return to democracy and also the pastoral statement of our dear Cardinal Charles Bo, who once again called all the actors with the clarion call: “Peace is possible, Peace is the only way and Democracy is the light to that path”. These two Good Shepherds have guided the church in the troubled times. Our views reflect their resolve for peaceful resolution to the crisis.
KMSS wishes to follow their guidelines. With them we express our “shock and agony” at the ‘disappointing’ change of events in the country. At this moment of darkness, we wish to stand with our people and address our concerns to those handling power and to our dear partners and friends.
We express our solidarity with the people who are feeling sense of pain regarding their massive votes for democracy. As thousands of people gather every day, risking their life and future, struggling in a Civil Disobedience Movement, we join with them in their peaceful resistance to all efforts at negating the verdict of the people. The people of Myanmar have shown that peaceful means are possible through their non-violent and disciplined protests. The people especially a new generation, they hold great dreams, which they feel are threatened by this shocking move towards non-democratic arrangement. KMSS endorses their struggle for ‘human dignity’, a key Catholic Social teaching principle.
Photo by Caritas
While praying for Myanmar during Angelus prayer, Pope Francis movingly pointed out “In this delicate moment, I wish to assure my spiritual closeness, prayer and solidarity to the people of Myanmar.” This we take as our mandate, to stay in ‘solidarity’ with people in need redoubling our involvement.
KMSS wishes to reaffirm Pope Francis definition of power: real power is service. Our people have seen power used to destroy their dreams. They have lived through decades of war in a country blessed with resources. Political power is to empower the most vulnerable-seeking always greater good for greater number of people, a pivotal catholic social principle constantly reminded by Pope Francis.
We concur with the views of Pope Francis, as he addressed the crisis of Myanmar to diplomatic corps in Vatican; “The political responsibility is showing sincere willingness to serve the common good, promoting social justice and national stability.” Peace is the only path. Joining with the call of Cardinal Charles Bo, we entreat the present rulers to pave the path of peace and dialogue through release of the prisoners of conscience. We urge to listen to the people as you promise for genuine democracy. Let us choose peace as a nation. Let us return to democracy.
Our people never give up. They struggle hard, yet again through another dark tunnel. As we see thousands of people peacefully protesting day after day, bringing tears to our eyes, we are energized by their hope for a better tomorrow, a peaceful tomorrow, a Myanmar of dignity. We share their courage that every long night of silent tears, ends in a dawn. Our nights may be too frequent and frustratingly long, but with your fraternal accompaniment,we believe and hope this nation will see a dawn of peace and prosperity.
We will continue to be Good Samaritan in accordance with KMSS’ mission committed to our people wounded by nullified dreams, manufactured poverty, inflicted wars and desperate displacements. Our people are affected by global pandemic, depriving millions of their livelihood and the latest shock of coup, shattering their fragile economic safety. We foresee increased poverty, acute food insecurity and risky displacement. In all these, KMSS assure our people that our accompaniment will increase not diluted.
With a faith-based conviction of “a New Heavens and New Earth” we journey with our people’s way of the Cross to see the resurrection of Democracy. KMSS will continue to be their fellow travelers in their quest for God given dignity.
With wishes and prayers in this Holy Season of Lent, on behalf of KMSS family, For and on behalf of Board of Directors of KMSS;
Bishop Raymond Sumlut Gam