Cardinal to boycott Independence Events

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith

Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith will not be attending the traditional Independence Day Mass held every year at the All Saints Church in Borella and State Independence Day celebrations, over his dissatisfaction with the investigations into the discovery of a hand grenade at the said church, the Catholic Church announced yesterday (3).

The boycott is also in protest over the delay in meting out justice for the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings and the suffering masses, it is said.

Speaking to the Media at the Archbishop’s House in Colombo, parish priest of St. Ann’s Church Kurana, Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando said the annual Independence Day mass had been celebrated at All Saints Church, Borella. But this year, holy masses will be sung and Independence Day programmes would be held in the parishes around the country, he noted.

“We should pray that our country would rid of all the injustice and victimisation, at least in the future,” he said. Rev. Fr. Fernando, who is also the Editor of the Catholic paper, ‘Gnanartha Pradeepaya’, said, “We should look back and think of the wrong decisions that our island’s leaders have taken in the past that has paved the way for the present situation, which calls for a change in attitude and thought among the people.”

He said citizens should ask who is responsible for the loss of equality, justice, and harmony.

Fielding questions, Rev. Fr. Fernando said the Catholic Church feels that the entire hand grenade incident had been orchestrated to instil fear in the minds of devotees. A hand grenade was found at the All-Saints Church, Borella on 11 January as the Church was preparing to mark 1,000 days since the Easter attacks on 14 January.  “Although we have faith in the Judiciary, we have little faith in the Attorney General and the Criminal Investigation Departments as we believe that they are all politicised. To get justice for the Easter victims would be to expose the murderous nature of politics,” the priest observed.

Furthermore, he noted that the Catholic Church, having waited for nearly three years for justice to be done to the victims and the current victimisation of innocent over the grenade incident, is ready to take grievances to the international courts to seek justice which judicial system was not prepared to afford aggrieved parties.

(Source: Ceylon Today – By Dilanthi Jayamanne and Aloka Kasturiarachchi)