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    President praises the services rendered by the Catholic Church for social upliftment

    December 02, 2016

    President Maithripala Sirisena commended the immense contribution made by the Catholic Church for social development and help given to the poor and underprivileged.


    Speaking to the delegates attending the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference on Wednesday at the President’s House in Colombo, he said Sri Lanka is a nation of different religions and diverse cultures and has a traditions going back to several centuries.


    The 11th Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference which started on November 28, will be held till December 04 in Negombo.


    The current President of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias, representing the holy Pope, Archbishop Pierri Nquyen Van Tot were present at this meeting. Cardinals from 17 countries and nearly 140 foreign representatives from Canada, Spain, Poland, France, Italy and USA also participated in this occasion.


    “We have a closer understanding and respect for each others’ cultures, customs, traditions and values”, he said. He pointed out the significance of holding the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference in Sri Lanka, a country where the people are living in peace and harmony.


    Following is the statement made by the President :


    It is my privilege and honor to welcome you to Sri Lanka to attend the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference. I remind the privilege I had last year to welcome his holiness Pope Francis to Sri Lanka.


    This conference will bring together all Catholic bishops in the region and will coordinate activities related to Catholics in Asia. I thank his eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith for selecting Sri Lanka to hold this significant conference.


    Sri Lanka is a nation of different religions and diverse cultures and have a traditions going back to several centuries. We have a closer understanding and respect of each others’ cultures, customs, traditions and values. If you travel from North to South and East to West you will come across places of religious worships of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians in all villages and cities. There is peace and harmony among our people. It is very significant that you have selected Sri Lanka to hold this conference.


    I understand the theme of the conference is the “The Asian Catholic Family: Domestic Church of the Poor on a Mission of Mercy”. I very much appreciate that the work accomplished by the Catholic Church on behalf of the poor in Sri Lanka.


    In fact, few weeks back I had an opportunity to declare the year 2017 as the Poverty Eradication Year for Sri Lanka. I appreciate the work of the Catholic Church in the promotion of the social and religious life of the people.


    Before I conclude I wish to say thanks to his eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. Personally he is a friend of mine. I very much appreciate his advice given to me whenever I approach him in difficult situations.


    It is indeed a blessing to Sri Lanka having such highest and learns leaders to lead not only the Catholics but also the people in Sri Lanka.


    Finally I wish all of you very successful conference and to all foreign dignitaries a pleasant stay in Sri Lanka. And I welcome all of you to visit many places of interest in Sri Lanka.

    Last modified on Thursday, 01 December 2016 15:14

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