Colombo archbishop calls for the resumption of public Masses
by Melani Manel Perera

Several Catholics said that the government should take into consideration the archbishop's request as the country slowly goes back to normal.

Colombo (Asia News) – At the end of the live broadcast of Sunday Mass on Verbum TV, the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called on Sri Lankan government to allow places of worship to resume religious services whilst upholding strict health and quarantine guidelines.

For many Catholics, the government should heed the archbishop's request as the country slowly goes back to normal.

“Catholics,” said the archbishop, “supported the government during the lockdown by suspending Mass and closing all the churches across the country".

“This request,” he added, “does not in any way constitute a request for special treatment for us, but the government must grant Christians permission to resume their religious services.”

Card Ranjith made his appeal at the end of the Mass on Sunday, feast day of the Holy Trinity, in St Mary’s church, Negombo.

In support of the archbishop's request, many Catholics as well as other Christians who spoke to AsiaNews believe that “What Archbishop Ranjith said is totally correct as the country slowly moves back to the period before of COVID-19.”

“We should all follow the rules and guidelines, careful about ourselves and other people we meet, those with whom we speak and work.”

For some people it is enough to take in Sunday Mass via TV or radio, but “we want to go to church and attend Mass. "

“The government should let Churches open,” some people said. “The faithful should be able to attend Mass. Parish priests should be able to allow their congregation to attend Sunday Mass according to zones. Not everyone will be able attend Mass every Sunday, but everyone will have the opportunity to attend Sunday Mass at least once. It is better than nothing.”

For nearly three months, Catholics followed Sunday and daily Masses via electronic media. The private Catholic television channel Verbum TV gave top exposure to Church services, programmes and official messages.

According to the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, the number of people with COVID-19 in Sri Lanka stood at 1,835 as of 2.30 pm Monday, with 990 recovered, 11 dead, 883 hospitalised and 941 discharged.