Pope Francis in Sri Lanka

Pope Francis speaks at an inter-religious meeting where he was greeted by members of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities. As he arrived, a Hindu leader clothed the Holy Father in a saffron robe, which is a Tamil sign of honour.

Pope Francis explained how his mission is one of healing and peace, and he constantly returns to these themes. Pope Francis was speaking at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall during the first day of his papal visit and he spoke in English. 

Here is his speech in full from Rome Reports:

In the speech, Pope Francis expresses how he comes to Sri Lanka to confirm the Christians there in their Catholic faith and to pray with them. He speaks of his joy at sharing time with those of other religions too while he is in Sri Lanka. He explains that he and the Church seek the welfare of Sri Lankans, and encourages dialogue which he considers essential to foster mutual respect, whilst emphasising the value of each individual tradition. Only through honest dialogue can we truly recognise the common ground between faiths.

The Pope stresses that healing is essential for all those who have the good of the nation at heart. Harmony should not require anyone to forgo diversity in order to embrace fraternal solidarity. This fraternal solidarity should encourage a bond of humanity and care for the destitute and those who mourn, especially. Religious belief must never be allowed to be allowed to be abused in the cause of violence and war. We must be clear and unequivocal in challenging our communities to live by the tenets of peace and co-existence found in each religion and condemning acts of violence. The Pope's mission is one of harmony and spreading the blessings of peace!


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