Today the country came to a standstill for three minutes in memory of the dead of the Easter massacre. Catholics in shock. Family members go in search of missing relatives with photos from family albums. The threat of new attacks persists.
Meeting of Orthodox primates of the Middle East. Meeting focuses on Ukrainian issue and relations between Antioch and Jerusalem.
"All the Gospels highlight the role of women, Mary of Magdala and the others, as the first witnesses of the resurrection," said the Pope. "Let us allow ourselves, therefore, to reach out from the consoling message of Easter and wrap ourselves in its glorious light, which dissipates the darkness of fear and sadness. The Risen Jesus walks beside us. He manifests himself to those who invoke and love him."
The death toll rises to 290 people with the number of wounded topping 500. According to police, the dead include 35 foreigners. An internal memo showing that intelligence agencies had been warned of the danger of attacks raises questions. Muslim officials express solidarity.
One Easter Vigil lasted over two hours with some 5,000 people present. Another Vigil had been celebrated hours earlier. A South African man and three Filipino women received baptism and confirmation. The liturgical service was efficient, with dozens of ciboria and aspersoria. The Islamic call from a nearby mosque could be heard during the liturgy. Prayers were recited for our "brothers and sisters of Yemen". Archbishop Hinder called for sharing the dismay of women at the tomb and the strength of the angel's proclamation.
A 3 pm curfew has been imposed. Schools and universities have been closed. At least 228 people have been killed and 470 wounded. Two other explosions were reported in Colombo, resulting in the death of three policemen. Sri Lankan President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremasinghe appeal to the nation. Card Malcolm Ranjith described the blasts as "bestial and inhuman".
During the "mother of all vigils", Francis says that Easter is "the feast of tombstones taken away, rocks rolled aside. God takes away even the hardest stones against which our hopes and expectations crash: death, sin, fear, worldliness."
In his Urbi et Orbi message, Francis cited conflicts and tensions in the world, from the Middle East and Africa to the Americas. "Christ is alive and he remains with us. Risen, he shows us the light of his face, and he does not abandon all those experiencing hardship, pain and sorrow."
Six blasts hit three churches and three grand hotels in Colombo. The churches are Zion Church in Batticaloa, St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade and St Sebastian inNegombo. Card Malcom Ranjith calls for blood donations and doctors to return to work in hospitals.
Francis expressed his closeness to the people and all the victims of the attacks.
The "new crosses of today" at the center of the meditations, first of all migrants and exploited women and children. Francis prays for "the people who do not have the comfort of faith", "the consecrated who, along the way, have forgotten their first love", "the Church, your bride, who feels continually assailed from within and from without. "
The MPs voted against Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. They exert a "negative" influence on young people and have no educational value. The revolt of young people and Internet users was immediate. Radical Shiite leader Al-Sadr is one of the supporters of the controversial law: they are creating addiction.
For the first time in 30 years, the Christian holiday returns to the civil calendar. On April 21st all schools in the country will remain closed. The initiative is due to the first Catholic woman parliamentarian, Gloria Jharna Sarker.
Bishop Rubiyatmoko: "Our vocation comes from Jesus, it is on Him that our lives should be centered". In Jakarta, Msgr. Suharyo explained to hundreds of priests gathered in the cathedral the importance of pursuing a blessed life. Even at Pontianak, the Chrism Mass ended a two-day meeting.