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  • » 05/03/2014, 00.00


    Pope: in Sri Lanka, "much work needs to be done to promote reconciliation, to respect the human rights".

    Receiving the bishops of the country, Francis highlights the contribution that Catholics are willing and able to give to create "an atmosphere of dialogue in order to build a more just society". Religious extremists "in promoting a false sense of national unity based on a single religious identity, have created tensions through various acts of intimidation and violence."

    Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - In Sri Lanka, "much work needs to be done to promote reconciliation, to respect the human rights of all the people and to overcome the ethnic tensions that remain" after years of war, states Pope Francis in his address to the bishops of the country received today for their five-yearly "ad limina" visit.

    Despite there being "a new dawn of hope" visible, the Pope also notes that religious extremists "in promoting a false sense of national unity based on a single religious identity, have created tensions through various acts of intimidation and violence". In this context, " can provide an atmosphere of dialogue that seeks to construct a more just and equitable society". One contribution to this goal is represented by the priests , "a great blessing and a direct fruit of the seeds missionaries planted a long time ago". "The Catholics of Sri Lanka wish to contribute, together with the various elements of society, to the work of reconciliation and rebuilding. One such contribution is the promotion of unity. Indeed, as the country seeks to come together and heal, the Church is uniquely positioned to provide a living image of unity in the faith as she is blessed to count both Sinhalese and Tamil among her number. In parishes and schools, in social programmes and other institutions of the Church, Sinhalese and Tamil find opportunities to live, study, work and worship together".

    Another of the Church's important tasks is its work in the field of charity. The Pope recalled the work of the national Caritas' after the 2004 tsunami in efforts of reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction. Its commitment in the fields of education, healthcare and assistance to the poor, he said, is also important. In the general context of economic growth, " this prophetic witness of service and compassion becomes even more important: it shows that the poor must not be forgotten nor inequality permitted to grow".

    Problems linked to the financial crisis and war, finally, have severely affected families. "Many have lost their employment and so families have been separated as spouses leave their homes to find work". "There is also the great challenge and increasing reality of mixed marriages, which require greater attention to preparation and assistance to couples in providing for the faith formation of their children. When we are attentive to our families and their needs, when we understand their difficulties and hopes, we strengthen the Church's witness and proclamation of the Gospel. Particularly by supporting marital love and fidelity, we help the faithful to live their vocation freely and joyfully, and we open new generations to the life of Christ and his Church".


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    See also

    08/02/2014 VATICAN - SRI LANKA
    Pope: Sri Lanka, the pearl and the tears consecrated to Our Lady of Tewatte
    Pope Francis meets a group of faithful from Sri Lanka, led by Card. Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo. The pontiff asks them to work for national reconciliation, healing wounds and also collaborating with former adversaries.

    03/10/2014 VATICAN - SRI LANKA
    Pope urges "solutions corresponding to the legitimate aspirations of all citizens" in Sri Lanka
    Francis receives the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. "May the Holy Father’s upcoming apostolic visit be welcomed as a sign of closeness to the people of Sri Lanka and as an encouragement to those who work for the common good, reconciliation, justice and peace."

    19/01/2015 SRI LANKA - VATICAN
    Card. Ranjith: The Pope has built bridges of peace for Sri Lanka
    Words of thanks of the Archbishop of Colombo and President of the Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka at the end of the canonization of Joseph Vaz. Recovery after the civil war is "a difficult road. We need his prayers and blessings."

    14/01/2015 SRI LANKA - VATICAN
    Pope in Sri Lanka: forgiveness, reconciliation and justice to rediscover unity after 30 years of war
    Francis visits the Marian shrine of Madhu which housed thousands of refugees during the civil war. "No Sri Lankan can forget the tragic events associated with this very place." "In the wake of so much hatred, violence and destruction, we want to thank her for continuing to bring us Jesus, who alone has the power to heal open wounds and to restore peace to broken hearts".

    13/01/2015 SRI LANKA - VATICAN
    Pope in Sri Lanka: A visit to reconcile differences
    Pope Francis has arrived in Colombo, welcomed by dances, elephants and children's choirs, together with military honors. A country still marked by the consequences of the civil war, which has claimed more than 60 thousand lives. "Pursuing the truth" about the horrors of war not "to open old wounds," but "for their healing." Openness and joint efforts among members of different religions. Economic development that cares about human dignity, without excluding anyone. The new president Maithripala Sirisena wants to work for "peace and reconciliation" of his people.

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