04/30/2019, 13.16
PAKISTAN
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Memorial Mass in Karachi for the victims of Sri Lanka bombings

by Shafique Khokhar

Yesterday, more than 300 people attended the service in the cathedral. "Because of sick minds and their hatred for peace and Christianity,” said the vicar general, Sri Lanka “has turned instead into lamentation and suffering."

Karachi (AsiaNews) – Fr Mario Rodrigues, rector of St Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi, celebrated a solemn Mass yesterday for the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings, along with Card Joseph Coutts, the local archbishop, and Fr Saleh Diego, vicar general of the diocese and director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace.

In his address, Fr Rodrigues said that "we all are gathered here to show our solidarity with our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters, and to pray for peace in the country and for all the victims who lost their lives in these bomb blasts and for those who are injured and are still suffering.

More than 300 people attended the service, lighting candles in memory of the dead. Those present included the Consul General of Sri Lanka G. L Gnanatheva, British High Commissioner Thomas Drew, as well as priests and nuns. Participants prayed for the 253 victims of Easter Sunday bombings and for Christians persecuted around the world.

Card Coutts reminded the faithful of the suffering of the first Christians and the fraternal friendship that has always characterised relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

He thanked the many priests and nuns from the island once called Ceylon who serve in Pakistan’s schools and hospitals. "We are close to you," he said. “Thank you, Sri Lanka, for the powerful example given to us Christians."

Fr Saleh stressed that Sri Lanka had been considered a peaceful country, among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. "Because of sick minds and their hatred for peace and Christianity, it has turned instead into lamentation and suffering," he bemoaned.

In a joint statement, the three Catholic leaders said that Pakistan’s Christians are “grieving for the people of Sri Lanka, praying for the souls of the dead and for the speedy recovery of the wounded."

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