Pope meets Sri Lankan bishops

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Pope meets Sri Lankan bishops

Vatican Radio--

Pope Francis has met with the bishops of Sri Lanka as part of their visit ad Limina Apostolorum.

In his address, the Pope encouraged the bishops in their efforts of reconciliation and healing of the nation, after more than 25 years of civil war on the island. Observing that the Church counts among its faithful both sides of the civil war, the Pope remarked that “as the country seeks to come together and heal, the Church is uniquely positioned to provide a living image of unity in the faith.”

The pope praised the Church’s charitable work, especially the work of Caritas Sri Lanka which provided much aid following the 2004 tsunami. He then reminded the bishops to continue the work for the poor, recalling his recent letter Evangelii Gaudium where he says “until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples is reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence.”

The pope noted the rich diversity of religious traditions and commended the bishops in their fruit-bearing efforts in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. In the face of on-going violence by certain groups of religious extremists, he encouraged the church “to remain steadfast in seeking partners in peace and interlocutors in dialogue.” The pope went on to praise the Church’s initiatives of developing small communities centered on the Word of God as a way to encourage piety and “assuring the faithful of the closeness of Christ and his Church to them.”

The Pope turned his attention to the family, the domestic church. He observed how the “war has left many families displaced and grieving the death of those closest to them” and also the “great challenge and increasing reality of mixed marriages, which require greater attention to preparation and assistance to couples in providing for the faith formation of their children.” He then exhorted the bishops to support and work to ensure that the dignity and the primacy of the family will upheld in the country.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 12:28
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