President meets the Bishop for talks

022President Mahinda Rajapaksa met Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith for talks at the Bishop’s House, the President’s office said in a statement today.

The meeting comes following the return to Sri Lanka of a delegation of Sri Lankan Catholic Bishops led by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith after meeting Pop Francis at the Vatican.

At the meeting with the Pope it was reported that the Pope had mentioned about a visit to Sri Lanka in January next year.01

It was also reported that the Pope took note of the rise of religious extremists in Sri Lanka who he says, 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 his address to the Sri Lankan delegation the Pope had encouraged the bishops in their efforts of reconciliation and healing of the nation, after more than 25 years of civil war on the island.

Observing that the Church counts among its faithful both sides of the civil war, the Pope had remarked that “as the country seeks to come together and heal, the Church is uniquely positioned to provide a living image of unity in the faith.” (Colombo Gazette)