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Different Reactions in Myanmar, Vietnam on New Cardinals


Newly appointed Cardinal Charles Maung Bo prays during a religious service at St. Paul’s Missionary school in suburbs of Yangon, Myanmar, Jan. 5, 2015.

Newly appointed Cardinal Charles Maung Bo prays during a religious service at St. Paul’s Missionary school in suburbs of Yangon, Myanmar, Jan. 5, 2015.


The leader of the Roman Catholics around the world, Pope Francis, named Archbishop Charles Maung Bo as one of 20 new cardinals on January fourth. The position of cardinal is the second highest office in the Roman Catholic Church.

Other religious leaders from Myanmar, including Buddhist and Muslim ones, have praised the choice of Archbishop Bo. He is the current archbishop of Yangon.

Pyinya Thiha, a Buddhist monk, says he hopes the new cardinal will actively work for the entire country.

["We do hope he will be able to work more widely including the remote border areas. In this time of great need to work for better social and civic issues for the development of our country, I'm so happy that he has been named a cardinal." ]

Myanmar is predominately a Buddhist nation. It has about 700,000 Catholics in a population of more than 50 million.

At the same time, nearby Vietnam is getting its third Roman Catholic cardinal since the end of the Vietnam War nearly 40 years ago.

Pope Francis also named Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon as a cardinal on Sunday. His choice has received only warm praise in Vietnam.

Father Vincent Pham Trung Thanh in Ho Chi Minh City says he considers the decision as nothing more than a thank you note to the archbishop. He said he does not expect too much from the cardinal.

Le Thanh Tung is a Catholic activist. He says he wants a cardinal who is willing to fight for truth, justice and freedom of religion in Vietnam.

All 20 new cardinals will be installed next month during a ceremony at the Vatican.

I’m Jim Tedder.

Aung Ye Ma Mg and Tra Mi reported this story. Marsha James wrote it for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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Words in this Story

predominant -adj. more important, powerful, successful or noticeable than people or things

praise – n. spoken or written words about the good qualities of someone or something

install – v. to put someone in an official or important job

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