Print Version    Email to Friend
President meets Asian bishops in Colombo

COLOMBO (SE): The president of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, praised the Church’s dedication to service of the poor at a meeting with a delegation from the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, which has been holding a plenary assembly in Colombo.

He invited the bishops to a meeting at his official residence in Colombo on November 30 and took the opportunity to highlight the work the Church has done in the volatile island nation.

“It is very significant that you have selected Sri Lanka to hold this conference,” he told the delegation. “I appreciate the work accomplished by the Catholic Church for the poor, in fact, a few weeks ago, I declared 2017 as Poverty Eradication Year in Sri Lanka.”

Over 140 bishops and priests gathered to discuss Asian family values, the Church of the poor and the mission of mercy from November 28 to December 4. It was the 11th plenary assembly of the Asian bishops and was the first to be held in Sri Lanka.

The president presented a memento to the bishops and they watched a number of cultural performances together. While in Colombo, they also visited Buddhist and Christian shrines and several other places of interest.

A number of ministers were present at the meeting with the president, including Tourism, Christian Affairs and Lands minister, John Amaratunga.

The prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said in addressing the plenary assembly on November 29 that his government welcomes suggestions from the bishops’ federation.

“The government promotes peace, reconciliation and recovery from decades of civil war. The government waits for the support of the Catholic bishops and other religious leaders to promote family values,” he added.

The federation is a voluntary association of bishops’ conferences from all over Asia. Its purpose is to foster solidarity and co-responsibility for the welfare of the Church and society, as well as promote and defend whatever is for the greater good.

More from this section