(Vatican Radio)The former archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor is in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, this week as Papal representative for celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the Christian faith in that region of South Asia. His visit, from November 5th to 9th, also marks the 125th anniversary of the creation of the diocese of Dhaka and will culminate with a Mass and festive encounter with Catholics and leaders of other faiths on Friday.
Speaking to Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen from the Nunciature in Dhaka, the Cardinal shared his impressions of the very small Catholic community in Bangladesh, a Church that he calls “a light which shines in this part of the world”….
“The main events have been to enable me, on behalf of the Holy Father, to see some of the things going on here in the Church, particularly – and this impressed me deeply – the contribution to education for young people of all religions.
There are over 700 Catholic schools in this country…..and I was delighted, having seen the Prime Minister today, that she’s giving permission for a Catholic university...
Yet again you find in these countries where there are very few Catholics compared with the total population – there are 160 million people here and only about 500.000 Catholics – and yet its contribution to education, culture, faith and witness is huge....
The relationship between all the faiths here is what I would call ‘a model’ for many other nations….the president, whom I’ve also met, and the government has set an example of the willingness of all people here to live together in peace and harmony….”