Asian Church expresses solidarity with French bishops

By Matters India reporter

Yangon, April 17, 2019: Head of the Catholic Church in Asia has expressed solidarity with the people of France in the wake of a tragic fire that damaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The devastating fire that gutted the spire and almost two thirds of the roof of 850 year old landmark edifice, considered the iconic symbol of French Catholicism, “has shocked not only the Christian world but entire humanity,” Salesian Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon wrote to the French bishops.

Cardinal Bo, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, further stated, “At this moment of deep sorrow and tragedy, the entire Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference, bow our heads in prayer and join the Ecumenical Church groups the world over in Intercessory Prayer for the Church in France which has suffered this great loss.”

The Notre-Dame Cathedral, dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary, is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages. It is distinguished for its size, antiquity, and architectural interest.

In a prophetic gesture the Asian cardinal said in the April 16 letter, “I also see both towers of Notre Dame which remain standing firm as reminiscent of the two pillars anchoring the barque of Peter in the dreams of Don Bosco (Holy Eucharist and Blessed Mother).”
The faithful of Paris endorsed their faith in God and Blessed Mother, in this tragedy by praying the Holy Rosary outside the cathedral on April 16evening joined by many other Catholics around the world.

The cardinal did not hesitate to express his hope saying, “I pray that hand in hand with the physical rebuilding of Notre Dame, there will be also the moral-spiritual rebuilding of Holy Mother Church, and a rebuilding of the culture of life.”

The FABC, established in 1972, is a federation of 16 or 19 Bishops’ Conferences from Bangladesh, East Timor, India (both the CBCI and the individual conferences of the Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara and Roman Rites), Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Laos-Cambodia, Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan (RoC), Thailand and Vietnam. Associate members are from Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Novosibirsk (Russia), Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan.

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