The Catholic Church of Sri Lanka urged the country’s leaders and those dedicated to the service of the people to humbly admit their fault and seek forgiveness for the 21 April 2019 Easter attacks.
Rendering the sermon at the special mass presided over by his Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City of Rome, Bishop of Badulla, Rt. Rev. Winston Fernando said, “The Catholic Church does not approve of the death sentence. Good cannot be defeated by evil. Those who are responsible and those who failed to prevent the killing of 269 devotees who attended Easter Sunday Mass at St. Sebastian’s Church Katuwapitiya, St. Antony’s Church Kochchikade and Zion Church Batticaloa and the 47 foreign nationals who lost their lives at the three hotels must first ask the people for their forgiveness before they can be forgiven by God.”
The victims and relatives of those who had died in the blasts at the three churches and received a blessing from Pope Francis who walked through the large crowed of Sri Lankan Catholics, and Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim devotees present at the service.
Rt. Rev. Fernando said the entire country and the community would be in danger if those leading the country and those responsible for its safety and justice are permitted to contribute towards the massacre of such a large number of people. “How criminal it was for rulers of the country to knowingly try not to prevent a massacre?”
It is a mockery of humanity to go to the law book to decide if it is a crime or to examine whether it has violated the Constitution of the country if it was an act committed for political gains, he observed.
Bishop Fernando urged the gathering that included victims of the attacks to offer all their pain and anguish and the present suffering in the island for the sufferings that Christ went through.
The Holy Mass at St. Peters’ Basilica was offered for the victims of the Easter carnage and their relatives and for the current political and economic crisis facing the country which has led to the large number of protests and demonstrations in the island.
(Pic Courtesy Vatican Media)
By Dilanthi Jayamanne