Atheists communists have done quite a number on the world, especially its poor.
First, according to Stéphane Courtois’ 1997 book The Black Book of Communism, they managed to kill 152 million people within about 80 years. Second, they managed to convince all subsequent atheists that “no atheist had ever killed in the name of atheism.”
The technical term for that is balderdash.
Technically, the authors argued that communists only killed 100 million people however, this number was highly criticized in academic circles. The revised number of 152 million dead is far more accurate.
However, other than history books, the best proof that atheist communists have committed outrageousness atrocities against humanity is the very fact that Burma has only one Catholic hospital―St. Francis Xavier of the Archdiocese of Mandalay.
It was started in Dec. 3, 2002―St. Francis Xavier’s feast day.
Why should the paucity of Catholic hospitals in Burma be proof of atheist villainy and contempt for life, property and compassion?
Because, dear reader, there was a time when the Catholic Church operated nearly all the hospitals in Burma. Atheist communists made short work of that when they took over the national government on March 2, 1962. Like other atheist communists before and after him, mass murderer General Ne Win had thought himself entitled to the possessions and labor of others and nationalized all of the Church’s hospital and schools.
And that was the end of that.
Before the dark advent of atheistic communism in Burma, that country had had the best educated population in Southeast Asia, served by one of the best hospital systems.
And now, the Church is once again able to offer the suffering people of Burma quality health care, either at cost or free-of-charge—thanks, once again, to Catholics.
Soviet-style nationalization and central planning helped General Ne Win create an oligarchic kleptocracy so as to keep he and his other atheist pals in charge.
But now, the communists are largely gone though they are still in charge of the military and remain a gray eminence in Burmese politics.
I sat down with Fr. Dominic Thiha, the director of Mandalay Archdiocese’s St. Francis Xavier Clinic and its Treasure and Chief Development Officer Sr. Emila Cing and spoke about their newly refurbished clinic.
“Our clinic was started by two Catholic doctors, Dr. Johnny Khin Mg Pyone and Dr. Margaret Cho Lay Mar in 2003,” explained Fr. Dominic.
“Some retired nurses and a few volunteers helped those doctors in running the clinic. It was financially supported by Fr. John Marvin, our diocesan priest, and Fr. John Mg Nee, who was pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in which the clinic is situated. The clinic was meant for all religions and it’s run on a cost-sharing system,” added Sr. Emila.
More than half of the clinic was destroyed in a fire in January 2014. The fire broke out in the local neighborhood and caused widespread damage.
The clinic has been closed for three years because of a lack of funds from the Archdiocese for its renovation. “Fortunately, some donors from Germany led by Mr. Stephan Huber and TTO Pharm, a local pharmacy company, supported our clinic’s renovation and upgrading,” added Sr. Emilia.
“So, the St. Francis Xavier Clinic reopened on Dec. 3, 2016―on our patron saint’s feast day,” said Fr. Dominic. “By that time, I was already assigned as the director of the Archdiocesan Health Care Commission. We formed an executive committee for the clinic and they administer it and give regular reports to the commission and the Archbishop.”
There are now four medical specialists on call, five medical doctors, five dentists, nine nurses and nurse-aids and four pharmacists working there. There are morning and evening shifts among them. We open the clinic from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Understandably, the clinic is closed on Sundays. After all, it’s run by the Church.
Fr. Dominic is one of the dentists at the clinic.
He’s a priest and a dentist. (His mother is very proud.)
“I see seven to eight medical patients and three to five dental patients in average per day,” explained Dr./Fr. Dominic. “All the doctors are volunteers there. We charge 500 Ks (US$0.32/£0.28) to 1000 Ks (US$0.75/£0.56) from the patient for consultant fee as transportation charge for doctors. But, for the very poor patients, all services and medicines are gratis. Dental prostheses and some laboratory tests need to be paid for considering their expense.”
“We got the permission to open the clinic because the government allowed the private and/or charitable clinics if the fulfill the necessary requirements,” added Sr. Cing.
“The Burmese government has shown remarkable trust in the Catholic Church in recent years, coming, at long last, to the realization that we are a trustworthy, spiritually-based service provider and aren’t partisan in who we serve,” said Fr. Dominic. “We are Catholic not because we serve Catholics, but because we serve everyone indiscriminately.”
“We serve the poor as possible as we can,” Sr. Cing added. “We still have the plan to expand our services to the poor. We also have HIV patient counseling and medicine supporting for them except the ART drugs in the clinic. The Archdiocese plans to build new hospitals and clinics, including a Radiotherapy Center for cancer patients and a hospice for them.”
The clinic also operates a highly successful mobile clinic which makes the rounds of about 100 local villages every month. Costs are much lower with the clinic but are still limited due to present conditions.
“We give health talks and demonstrations to the villagers on these trips,” explained Sr. Emilla. “We often find serious cases which we refer to the appropriate hospital just in the nick of time.”
Though the clinic has two surgical bays and a delivery room, it can’t operate them without a full overhaul of their equipment. This will take time as the appropriate funds aren’t yet available.
“We aren’t capable of offering surgeries yet because of lack of funding to buy the operating equipment and machines. We have plans to expand our services to the poor and the needy,” Fr. Dominic said with a shrug and a sad smile. “But, we are going on with our very limited fund. God will provide. He has already―He will continue to do so in the future.”
The clinic sees approximately 50-110 patients every month.
“Our principle duties at our clinic is to serve the poor sick people with love and kindness,” nodded Sr. Emilla with a confident, inspired grin.
Those wishing to assist Burma’s only Catholic hospital and mobile clinic are urged to communicate directly with Fr. Dominic Thiha or Sr. Emilla Cing at +959 431-8-6054, +959 974-52-7081, or by mail at Catholic Archbishop's House, 25th and 81st Sts. Corner, Mandalay, Myanmar.