22 March 2018

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02/25/2009 SRI LANKA

Lent, a time for forgiveness in war-torn Sri Lanka

Personal conversion is the first response to society’s divisions. For the time that comes before Easter Caritas-Sri Lanka SEDEC issues a booklet dedicated to “Harmony through Reconciliation.”

Colombo (AsiaNews) – “We, too, are called to take up daily crosses in our life and go forward to forgive and forget the past and reconcile ourselves because the love of Christ urges us to do so,” is the thrust of a message issued for Lent by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Sri Lanka (CBCSL) in a booklet sent out to all the faithful, so harshly tried by the war between the Sri Lankan army and the rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Mgr Harold Anthony Perera, chairman of the Catholic National Commission for Justice, Peace and Human Development, said that the 40 days that precede Easter are a privileged moment for the war-torn country, where divisions and violence reign.

For the prelate, in identifying with the death, passion and resurrection of the Lord Christians can embark on a necessary journey to overcome the traumatic experience shared by so many victims of the war and conquer the desperation and sadness that pervade Sri Lankan society.

As indicated by the title of the small booklet issued by the National office of Caritas-Sri Lanka SEDEC, “Harmony through Reconciliation” is the mandate placed upon every believer in the island nation.

For Bishop Perera, Sri Lankan Catholics are an “Easter people”. The conversion to which they are called in Christ’s example and love for the Father is the first contribution they can make towards reconciliation in a “divided and alienated” society shaped by “un-Christian values of race, language, power and supremacy”.

See also

14/03/2011 SRI LANKA
Lent in Sri Lanka: “Christ is our hope” for reconciliation
For the Catholic bishop of Kurunegala, the theme launched this year by Caritas Sri Lanka is “appropriate” and “relevant” for the country, which is undergoing a process of reconciliation after 30 years of war. He calls upon the faithful to undergo a “genuine conversion” of heart and mind, as urged by the Pope.

10/09/2007 SRI LANKA
Tsunami-hit Marian shrine in Matara celebrates 100 years
Celebrations for the famous Marian shrine hit by the tsunami in 2004 end. Some 300,000 pilgrims come from the entire island. Galle bishop calls Our Lady the “light that enlightens” the country divided by ethnic conflict.

12/03/2018 12:28:00 SRI LANKA
Bishop Wickramasinghe calls for building the nation together

The bishop of Galle makes an appeal during Lent to the faithful “not [to] confine ourselves only to external rituals”. Stronger ties of brotherhood can lead to peace in society. Tamils and Sinhalese share religious ethnic traits. People must overcome the desire to find culprits. A new mindset is needed.

24/02/2016 15:15:00 SRI LANKA
Booklet about Pope Francis’ visit to Sri Lanka to serve as engine of reconciliation

A group of religious and lay Catholics published a 12-page booklet in Tamil, Sinhalese and English with the highlights of five speeches by Pope Francis and President Sirisena. The purpose of the visit to Sri Lanka was "primarily pastoral" and the focus of the pope’s speeches was "truth and reconciliation”.

28/07/2008 SRI LANKA
Prayer vigil in Colombo to remember the victims of ‘black July’
The civil war that pits government forces against Tamil Tigers has killed 70,000 people in 25 years. The country’s Christians organise a prayer vigil to honour the memory of those who died and to call for peace and prosperity for Sri Lanka as a whole.

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