"2017 has been a very important year for Christians and the people of Myanmar," said the cardinal immediately after the visit of "Pope Francis, the apostle of Love and Peace" who "visited every component of the country, urging everyone to continue on the pilgrimage of peace."
"Healing the wounds, seeking complete reconciliation, repaying hatred with redemptive love" is what remained, as a synthesis of that visit, in the words of the cardinal. "War rages in many areas. (...) People who thrive in hate speech hurt our brothers and sisters with war, displacement and poverty, making a country blessed with so many natural resources into one of the world's poorest nations. Economic setbacks, social ills, political conflict continue to make the nation bleed. Recent events have seen the nation challenged by the international community. We must implement a program of Love and Peace!"
After speaking of the exploitation of natural resources, with special mention of the Irrawaddy River, "a river sacred to the people," Cardinal Bo said encouragingly that: "peace based on healing wounds is possible. True peace is built on love (...). Compassionate love must become the common religion of this nation. Religions must come together for peace. Those who seek hatred in the name of religions lack love."
"Let us see, in a creative fashion, a nation of hope," concludes the Salesian cardinal. "Christmas is that season of hope. I pray that each one of us receives their blessings so that we can mobilize our spiritual instincts towards building Myanmar as a nation of opportunity, peace, love and healing for all of us. Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all!"