Catholic Bishops express concern

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference are concerned about the disturbances in the country and the need to promote peace and harmony states a statement by the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Rt. Rev. (Dr) J. Winston S. Fernando and Secretary General Rt. Rev. Valence Mendis.

The full statement is as follows:-

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about the disturbances which have arisen in the country during the past few days.

Considering that this country has a multi ethnic and multi religious composition, we need to promote and foster harmony to live in peace.

As citizens of Sri Lanka, we aught to look at the prevailing situation and its consequences wisely and with foresight. Having learnt from our past experiences, we should look at all incidents as having potential to unleash violence. Therefore, let us be realistic, humane and compassionate in dealing with events of this nature. We do not need outsiders to teach us of the importance of living in peace and harmony; we have the four major religions to teach us of the spiritual values.

Therefore, it is destructive to give a religious twist to isolated incidents, leaving room to extremists to create a configuration; let no one add fuel to fire. Such acts will not protect the country, religion or race but rather insult, discredit and betray them.

We earnestly request all religious and political leaders and other organizations to cooperate in a spirit of dialogue and understanding to prevent a disastrous conflict. We all realize that the path of reconciliation and harmony is an arduous process where patient commitment, and courageous dedication of every one is required in achieving it.

Towards this end, we the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Sri Lanka seek the goodwill of every one to help restore order and peace while praying for God’s blessing upon our dear country.


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