Church concerned over attacks

Archbishop Malcolm RanjithThe Catholic Bishops’ conference of Sri Lanka said it was deeply concerned about the atrocious killings of the large numbers of Christians in certain parts of the world.

A statement by Catholic Bishops Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and Secretary General of the Catholic Bishop’s conference, Chilaw Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. D. Valence Mendis, said that they are most shocked to know that even so many children, the most innocent of human society, have become the victims of such untold brutality and violence.

“We which violate one of the most fundamental rights of every human person namely, one’s religious freedom. Life is God’s most precious gift to every human being and everyone is most free to adhere to any religion of one’s own choice. Hence, one’s religious affiliation cannot merely be the cause of his or her death since no one can kill in the name of God. We hold with the highest regard and respect the ultimate sacrifice of these brothers and sisters in the faith. Let us be deeply united in prayer with all those who mourn these most deplorable losses so that the Lord comfort, strengthen and grant solace to all their families, their near and dear ones,” the statement said

The Catholic Bishops’ conference of Sri Lanka urged all Catholics to be most sensitive to the intense sufferings of their own brothers and sisters who have been summoned to live their Christian discipleship to the very bitter end.

“Let all of us cry out to God and be unceasing in prayer so that all those involved in these acts of such terror and violence be halted with immediate effect sparing the lives of all innocent human beings, both children and adults. We strongly urge all heads of governments and all men and women of good will to do everything within their power to put an end to these killings and all other forms of violence in the name of religion which are a blatant violation of the most legitimate rights of all people to live, practice and respectfully follow any religion of their choice,” the statement added.

The Catholic Bishops’ conference of Sri Lanka has decided to declare the feast of Corpus Christi on 07 June 2015 as a day of prayer and fasting to be in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in the affected countries.

“On this day in which we commemorate the supreme sacrifice of the life of Jesus by shedding His blood in expiation of our sins, let us organize in all our parishes and religious communities programmes of prayer for God’s intervention for the cessation of this brutal spate of violence,” the Catholic Bishops’ conference of Sri Lanka said.