Papal legate Cardinal Bo to visit Cebu prison

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Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, SDB, is the first cardinal from Myanmar. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

CEBU City, Jan. 23, 2016— Papal legate to the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Charles Maung Cardinal Bo will visit a local prison and meet with some inmates during his visit to Cebu City for the 51st IEC.

The cardinal, appointed by Pope Francis as his representative to the IEC, is arriving on Sunday to preside over the opening Mass for the historic event at the Plaza Independencia.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said selected prisoners from the Cebu provincial jail, home of the region’s famous dancing inmates, will meet Cardinal Bo in a private audience on Tuesday, January 26.

“He will visit a detention center. It’s just a small group of prisoners,” Palma said.

Aside from Cardinal Bo, who is a Salesian and currently the archbishop of Yangon in Myanmar, the Holy Father named two priests from Cebu as members of the “pontifical mission”.

Accompanying the cardinal will be Fr. Dominic Bar Bu, special secretary for the papal delegation, and Fr. Marvin Mejia, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Archbishop Palma added that the papal legate is also scheduled to visit a vocational school in the village of Pasil, identified as one of the city’s most depressed areas, on Jan. 28.

According to him, Cardinal Bo will particularly visit the Don Bosco Training and Youth Center established by his Filipino confreres to reach out to poor children and out-of-school youths.

According to Archbishop Palma, he sees the IEC as an event of hope and the interaction of the papal legate with the prisoners and the poor children is an expression of this.

“In our world, where there is a shortage of hope, mankind needs to hear the message of hope in Christ Jesus,” he said. (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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