Synod is about a legacy for Church’s future, says Asian cardinal

Synod is about a legacy for Church’s future, says Asian cardinal

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, delivers his homily at a Synod Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on Monday, Oct. 23. ROY LAGARDE

By Roy Lagarde

October 24, 2023

VATICAN— As the Vatican summit on the future of Catholicism enters its final week, a top Asian cardinal stressed the importance of the legacy it will leave for the next generation.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon described the “Synod on Synodality” as a “long march of hope for all humanity” amid what he called “global turmoil”.

“Amidst this Synod, one of our grave concerns is the legacy we will leave for the next generation,” Cardinal Bo said in his homily during a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Monday.

The president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) underscored that the church’s synodal journey is about “healing and reconciling” the world in justice and peace.

“The only way to save humanity and create a world of hope, peace, and justice is through the global synodality of all people,” Bo said.

“We pray that the Catholic Church, under the leadership of Pope Francis, will bring the entire human family into the long march of healing our world and our planet, ultimately leading us to a new heaven and a new earth,” he added.

The liturgy was concelebrated by Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay and Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of Tokyo and FABC secretary general.

With nearly 400 participants from across the world— cardinals, bishops, priests and laypeople–this year’s synod is the first of a two-part discussion that will culminate next October.

While he acknowledged the “doubts” related to the synod, he said the Church must continue “to embody a synodal path of faith with the conviction that God never fails”.

During the prayers of the faithful at the Mass, the congregation prayed for the Church in mainland China that it “may increasingly preserve and celebrate the communion of love and life with the universal Church.”

They also offered prayers for the Church in Myanmar as it “strives for democracy, rule of law, and that all forms of violence will end.”

“Our faith journey in Asia is not without difficulties, but this Synodal gathering has energized us to return to the great days of evangelization by the apostles,” Bo added.

“We embrace the call for Asia to become the 21st century for Christ with optimism, inspired by the global Church’s synodal journey,” he also said.


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