'Be Good Parents,' Cardinal Tells Myanmar's Leaders

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon Recalls Time When Country Was Model Society

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Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, has launched an appeal to the Burmese leaders of the nation.

According to Fides, the Asian prelate–in a message published on the occasion of the day of parents–exhorted, «We expect our rulers to be good parents. In our culture, parents are revered as gods.»

According to our traditions, Cardinal Bo urged, our leaders have the right and the duty to promote the welfare of all.

«For 50 years, in the dark days of dictatorship, the people had no family. When democracy came, we hoped that it would bring the family spirit of all. The nation has expectations of seeing our leaders making this country a real family,» he stressed.

Yet, the Cardinal observed, there are great obstacles. «Our economy is breaking families. Millions of our young people are away from their parents. They have made us poor, and the integrity of the family is eroded by poverty in the country. The family spirit is weak. Most of the sons and daughters of Myanmar are poor.»

According to a recent census, he cited, 40 percent of the Burmese people live below the poverty line, and in Chin and Rakine, poverty reaches 70 percent.

Families, he stressed, are further divided due to human trafficking in the border towns and disintegrate because of lack of education, threats of drugs, and armed conflict.

This is why the Cardinal noted that «our leaders have not been up to our expectations as parents. They have become patrons of a crony capitalism, as the Pope pointed out in South America, in an economy that has the only aim of gaining profit.»

Cardinal Bo concluded, saying regardless of their will, our leaders need our prayers. «Let us pray for our parents: the rulers.» (D.C.L.)

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