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All Sri Lankans-- not just Catholics-- welcomed papal visit, bishop reports

January 22, 2015

The visit to Sri Lanka by Pope Francis was welcomed not only by Catholics, but by the entire diverse population of the country, Bishop Valence Mendis of Chilaw told Aid to the Church in Need.

“The Pope was not only welcomed by Catholics--who are, after all, a minority in Sri Lanka-- but also by many fellow Sri Lankans who belong to other religious denominations,” the bishop reported. He observed that many non-Catholics attended an outdoor Mass celebrated by the Pontiff on January 14, swelling the congregation to twice the expected size.

The papal visit came at an auspicious time, following a change in government leadership, the bishop continued. “The Pope called for reconciliation, solidarity and peace. Following the change in government, hopes are now high that the new government will guarantee press and judicial freedom as well as minority rights.”

 
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