MIL-OSI Translation: ASIA/SRI LANKA – Easter attacks: Catholic community prays and strives for recognition of its “martyrs”

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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Italy –

Source: The Holy See in Italian

Colombo (Agenzia Fides) – “The faithful who lost their lives as innocents, in the moment of worship to God, to the 2019 Easter terrorist attacks, while they were participating in the Eucharistic celebration on Sunday in church, are our heroes of faith. They were killed while worshipping God. They were in church to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. We want them to be proclaimed martyrs,” Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando, a Colombo priest and editor of the Sinhalese-language Catholic weekly “Gnartha Pradeepaya” (“The Light of Knowledge”), tells Fides Agency. The priest confirms, “That is why next April 21, the day of the anniversary of their death, a petition signed by thousands of faithful will be delivered into the hands of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, asking that the process for beatification can be started. This is an important step; it is the fruit of a popular initiative, spread among the faithful. The Cardinal then, will submit it to the Holy See.”:Fr. Fernando reports that the community of the Archdiocese of Columbus earnestly desires to start the process of canonization of 171 faithful Catholics killed in the 2019 Easter Sunday terrorist attack, to honor its “martyrs of the faith”: to this end, it is living the Lenten season with this prayer intention. The journey will culminate with a solemn celebration on April 21, on the fifth anniversary of the attacks. The passage of a five-year period, the director recalls, is the minimum time required by the Church to open the cause for canonization, and then the cardinal will be able to present the Vatican Dicastery for the Causes of Saints with the petition to start the diocesan phase of the process.On April 19, 2019, eight suicide bombers targeted two Catholic churches, an evangelical church, three luxury hotels and other places, killing a total of 269 people and injuring more than 500 others. Among them, Catholic worshippers killed while at mass, in the Catholic churches of St. Sebastian and St. Anthony, numbered 171. “Those who died in churches in April 2019 sacrificed their lives for what they believed in. They came to the church because they believed in Christ,” Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, told the faithful in recent days, endorsing the popular initiative of the faithful.According to investigators, a local radical group linked to the Islamic State, the National Thowheeth Jama’ath, planned and organized the attack but, five years after the events, the real instigators of the massacre and collusion with political circles, accused of wanting to hide information and cover up for those responsible, remain to be ascertained, according to many observers. The Church in Sri Lanka and still calls for “truth and justice,” as there are investigative leads that see those attacks as deliberate acts to destabilize the nation.Even Pope Francis in April 2022 urged the Sri Lankan government to take action to identify those responsible and bring justice to the victims and their families. “Please and for the sake of justice, for the sake of your people, let it be clarified definitively who was responsible for these events. This will bring peace to your conscience and to the nation,” said the Pope .The path of ordinary justice, however, Fr. Fernando concluded, “is independent of the path of faith: from this point of view we pray and commit ourselves, united as a community, for the recognition of martyrdom.”(PA) (Agenzia Fides 4/3/2023)Share:

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

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