Cardinal says Pope’s visit is on

pope francis1The head of the Sri Lankan Catholic Church, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith says the visit of Pope Francis to Sri Lanka next month will not be cancelled under any circumstances.

Responding to a question raised at an event in Colombo this evening, the Cardinal said that preparations for the visit of the Pope have almost been finalised.

Earlier there were reports that some members of the Catholic Church had made a request that the historic visit by the Pope be cancelled over fears of violence during the Presidential elections next month.

When asked to comment about those reports, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said that the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has no plans to request the Pope to cancel the visit.

He also urged the Catholic community in Sri Lanka and the general public to avoid taking part in any election related violence no matter who wins the election on January 8.

Pope Francis will arrive in Sri Lanka on January 13, 2015 and will be accorded a State welcome at the Katunayake airport.

The Pope will later be driven in an open vehicle from Negombo to Colombo for the public to greet him and that evening he will pay a courtesy call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa. A special stamp is to be issued by the President to mark the occasion of the Pope’s Sri Lanka visit.

Pope Francis will meet multi-religious leaders at the BMICH that evening and the next day (January 14) he will hold a mass at Galle Face green, during which the Blessed Joseph Vaz will also be made a Saint.

On the evening of January 14, the Pope will visit Madhu and will meet Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph and also attend a special mass at the historic Madhu church. (Colombo Gazette)

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