A decision regarding the visit of Pope Francis to Sri Lanka could be made today in the Vatican when the Pope meets Sri Lankan Bishops individually, sources from the Roman Catholic Church said yesterday.
Spokesman for the Church, Fr. Benedict Joseph told Daily Mirror that it is possible that some decision regarding the papal visit would be made today as the pontiff is to meet the bishops and Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith today.
Fr. Jospeh said the bishops and the cardinal had met the Pope on Saturday during their ad Limina Apostolorum.
In his address, the Pope encouraged the bishops in their efforts towards reconciliation and healing of the nation, after more than 25 years of civil war in the island.
Observing that the Church counts among its faithful people on both sides of the civil war, the Pope 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. The Pope noted the rich diversity of religious traditions and commended the bishops on their fruit-bearing efforts in ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. In the face of on-going violence by certain groups of religious extremists, he encouraged the church “to remain steadfast in seeking partners in peace and interlocutors in dialogue
Fr. Joseph said the bishops will take up the issue of the papal visit at this meeting while discussing issues pertaining to individual dioceses in Sri Lanka. (Yohan Perera)