Clergy should stay away from politics – Cardinal

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith is saying that the country will be truly blessed if the clergy stays away from politics completely.

Speaking in Colombo today he said that the clergy is present at all events, meetings and announcements “seated on the stage like Flower-pots.”

“Our role is to serve the people because we know their sorrows and their pain,” he said.

In his speech the Bishop of Colombo castigated politicians saying they do not love this country, because they do not love its people.

He was speaking at the launch of the website of the Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG) at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute today Oct 11. Ranjith wished the organisation luck, but said changing the corrupt political culture “will not be easy.”

He decried politicians who take the law into their own hands. “The culture of corruption, gambling and the White Van culture have come in because politicians think they are above the law. They also think this is their inheritance.”

He recalled that “thirty years ago when I was serving in a Parish I met the local Member of Parliament at an event. He had served before as a Deputy Minister but had not contested the last election, so I asked him why. I was shocked at his terrible reply which was, “what’s the point Father, I have made enough money.’’” 

That situation has not changed all these years later, he said. “We have to ask whether the Politicians love the country and its people.”

He says that the voter is powerful only during elections. “After they come to power these politicians forget their supporters. They kick the ladder that helped them to climb to the top.”

He accused politicians on both sides of the divide of protective each other. “One side robs and the other side quietly helps them,” he said.

 He is also complaining that various political parties and organisations are using his name to further their political agenda.

“They write statements and attribute them to me to show that I am supporting them. It has become a game, a past-time for them,” he lamented.