Education is a priority for the people of Myanmar, to help them make use of their freedom, and international help is needed, Cardinal Charles Bo has said during his visit to Australia. Source: Catholic Outlook.
Cardinal Bo, the Archbishop of Yangon, is touring Australia as a guest of Catholic Mission. Catholic Mission’s major Church Appeal in 2018 is raising funds for education programs in Myanmar backed by Cardinal Bo.
“In the past we were under the military regime for 60 years, and also of course civil conflict, the civil war for 60 years, especially with the ethnic groups, the majority which would be the Christians, who the military would call the Christian rebels,” he said in an interview with Catholic Outlook.
“Still that continues and is still happening, even now.
“For the Catholic Church now, we are trying to work towards education.”
Cardinal Bo said the schools in Myanmar have been nationalised since 1965.
“One of our biggest needs, and the Church sets a priority, is the education of the children and the young people because of a lack of education,” he said.
“Many of our young people migrated as migrant workers to nearby countries. Some of them became slaves in nearby countries and have been trafficked.
“At present, we need lots of international help to work towards the education. The country has been open two to three years, people do not understand the freedom or they don’t know what the democracy.”
Cardinal Bo said other challenges to his nation include the influx of media, the use of smartphones, YouTube and Facebook.
“Many young people are addicted to that. Maybe 80 per cent of young people join hate speech and join extremist monks who preach against the Muslims, these are some of the things we face a challenge on.
“Our young people need education, (to) make use of the freedom, really, they don’t know what freedom is or what democracy is, they have been voicing democracy but actually they don’t know what democracy is. So, there is a lot of education that is needed.
“Also, regarding the Church and Church personnel, because of this closed door policy of the past six decades, the field of formation, for the formation of faith and faith of the people, formation of the seminaries, and formation of the religious house, we need formators.”
EXCLUSIVE: First Australian interview with Cardinal Bo -Part One (Catholic Outlook)