Sri Lanka: Why Did Cardinal Avoids 2019 Easter Mass – Preface to his Vatican Mission

God stands for truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth where hypocritical priests have no room to play the old game.

Editorial

His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, has arrived in the Vatican recently with a carefully selected team to meet with the Pope. The Cardinal said members of the families affected by the 2019 Easter attacks had gone there with him. He further stated that the trip was financially sponsored by an individual. Subsequently the carnage, the only important and commendable action initiated by Cardinal, who had been involved in indistinguishable ugly politics for many years before the attacks, was to take immediate action to mitigate the risk of religious conflict. But it soon became apparent that the Cardinal was acting as if he had committed a crime against his conscience. The statements he flooded on media show that he has no intention of gaining an accurate understanding of those who were involved in the attacks or of supporting a national program to eradicate extremism that advocates violence as a way of liberation from the country. As a result, Islamic extremism is now spreading more subtly than ever before in various parts of the country.

His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo

In this backdrop, we believe it is important to focus on a basic event related to the Easter attacks, subject to correction. Why did the Cardinal suddenly decide not to attend the Easter morning service in 2019? Why didn't the Cardinal, who otherwise prioritises attending the Easter service at St. Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in previous years, attend it in 2019? Did he decide not to attend because of prior information of possible disruption? Here we do not intend to generate any conspiracy, but it is an important event to be aware of. In case, if the Church thinks we are spreading misinformation, the Cardinal and the Catholic Church in Colombo are welcome to correct us. We believe it is crucial to focus on this because of the importance of this event. Many have received early warnings about this terrorist attack. None of them did anything substantive to save the people but ensured their safety. In this context, isn’t it important to discuss whether the Cardinal was also one among the few who ensured his safety without informing the public? It is a matter of conscience.

After the attacks, the Cardinal said that the carnage was plotted by a powerful Western country. He had no evidence to substantiate the allegation. Over time, he changed his tongue in various ways. Many, including Cardinal, are now commenting on the attacks, alluding to it as a conspiracy by the current president. But there is no evidence to support this claim other than mere speculations. “I say the same thing because he said so,” is the only basis for their arguments. The devastation caused to the country and the people by this irrational and unscientific manner of dealing with such a deep-rooted social crisis is incalculable. 

The damage that the Cardinal is causing to society concerning this incident is very serious. First, due to his irrational behaviour, the authority has not been able to implement an accurate program against the prevailing Islamic fundamentalism in the country. Secondly, he thwarted the rehabilitation program introduced by the government two years ago to eradicate Islamic radicalization from society. Third, the truth has been suppressed by socializing that there is a conspiracy behind this attack without any clear evidence. Fourth, the government's service to the victims of the attacks is sadly concealed. (In fact, more than Rs. 310 million has been provided as direct financial assistance to the victims and a large number of new houses have been built and donated. All those suspected of being directly or indirectly involved in the attacks are being arrested and investigated, but unfortunately, this process was hampered by undue pressure from NGOs and various social groups, including the Cardinal, to release some lawyers who had close ties to suicide bombers such as the Jameel and Ibrahim brothers.) Fifth, the victims of the attacks were turned into commodities of certain parties in society. These facts show that the truth has been overshadowed by the Cardinal's ignorant and hateful actions. As a result, the whole world is being deceived by various false information and the ground is being prepared to nourish violent extremists. We would like to reiterate the fact that it is important that the Cardinal, who is going to express his “desire for justice” to the Pope, pay attention to the above. 

God stands for truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth where hypocritical priests have no room to play the old game. As Pope Francis put it in his Let Us Dream: The Path to A Better Future, "We are living a time of trial. The Bible talks of passing through fire to describe such trials, like a kiln testing the potter’s handiwork (Sirach 27:5). The fact is that we are all tested in life. It’s how we grow. In the trials of life, you reveal your own heart: how solid it is, how merciful, how big or small." This test removes a person from his sham acts and reveals the truth about him. Like everyone else, the Cardinal is a person who is tempted by God. There the Cardinal is examined for the good and bad deeds he has done so far. It is a transaction between his conscience and God. Will such an epoch test benefit the conspirators?

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