His Holiness the Pope recently visited Sri Lanka in January 2015.
His Holiness Pope Francis in Sri Lanka – Photograph courtesy of the Daily News Sri Lanka.
His Holiness Pope Francis said that the legacy of injustices, hostilities and mistrust bequeathed by the protracted conflict in Sri Lanka can only be overcome by cultivating good virtues which foster reconciliation, solidarity and peace.
His Holiness Pope Francis greets the crowds in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Photograph courtesy of the Daily News Sri Lanka.
His Holiness Pope Francis with Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena during his visit to the island in January 2015. Photograph courtesy of the Daily News Sri Lanka.
“It is no an easy task to overcome the bitter legacy of injustice, hostility and mistrust left by the conflict. It can only be done by overcoming evil with good,” the Pontiff said.
The Holy See was of the view that the process of healing also needs to include the pursuit of truth, not for the sake of opening old wounds but rather as a necessary means of promoting justice, healing and unity.
He added that followers of various religious traditions have an essential role to play in the delicate process of reconciliation and rebuilding taking place in this country.
“For that process to succeed, all members of society must work together. All must have a voice. All must be free to express their concerns, their needs, their aspirations and their fears,” the Pope added.
The Holy Father was speaking at the welcoming ceremony at the Bandaranaike International Airport. Pope Francis added that everyone should live as one family by accepting one another and respecting their legitimate differences. “Whenever people listen to one another humbly and openly, their shared values, aspirations become all the more apparent. Diversity is no longer seen as a threat but as a source of enrichment.
The path to justice, reconciliation and social harmony becomes all the more clearly seen,” he said.
The Pope stressed that the rebuilding of the country should also include promoting human dignity and respect for human rights with full inclusion of each member of society.
“It is my hope that Sri Lanka’s political, religious and cultural leaders, by measuring their every word and action by the good and the healing it will bring, will make a lasting contribution to the material and spiritual progress of the Sri Lankan people.”
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