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Scaffolding surrounds St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo, two weeks after deadly terrorist attacks Scaffolding surrounds St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo, two weeks after deadly terrorist attacks  (AFP or licensors)

Pope sends condolence letter to Sri Lanka's Christians

As Catholic churches and schools remain closed across Sri Lanka for fear of further terrorist attacks, Pope Francis sends his condolences to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and the country's Christian communities.

By Vatican News

The Pope’s letter was read out to the faithful at the end of a televised Mass on Sunday, which was celebrated by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s Catholic churches and schools remain closed, two weeks after terrorist attacks killed 257 people on Easter Sunday.

In his letter, Pope Francis renews his “profound solidarity” and “continued prayers” for Sri Lanka.

The Holy Father also prays for the Lord “to bring healing to the injured and consolation to all who mourn the loss of their loved ones.”

The original text of Pope Francis’ letter follows:

“In the wake of the brutal attacks on Christian communities gathered in prayer on Easter Sunday, and on several other sites in Sri Lanka, I feel moved to assure you once more of my profound solidarity and my continued prayers for all those affected by these contemptible crimes.

“In union with our brothers and sisters throughout the world, I commend the dead to the infinite mercy of God our heavenly Father and ask the Lord Jesus, victor over sin and death, to bring healing to the injured and consolation to all who mourn the loss of their loved ones.

“With the followers of all religions, and men and women of good will everywhere, we express horror at this unspeakable offence against the holy name of God and I pray that hearts hardened by hatred may yield to His will for peace and reconciliation among all his children.

“At this time of immense grief, may the faithful be confirmed in charity, consoling one another with the hope born of Easter and our unshakeable faith in Christ’s promises.

“Conscious of the wound inflicted on the entire nation, I likewise pray that all Sri Lankans will be affirmed in their resolve to foster social harmony, justice and peace.

“With these sentiments, I affectionately commend you and your brother Bishops, together with the clergy, religious and lay faithful entrusted to your care, to the loving embrace of Our Lady, Queen and Patroness of Sri Lanka, and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and peace in the Risen Lord.”

05 May 2019, 16:18