Colombo Archdiocese condemns Harin’s statement at PCOI | Daily News


 

Colombo Archdiocese condemns Harin’s statement at PCOI

The Colombo Archdiocese while rejecting the statement made by SJB parliamentarian Harin Fernando before the Presidential Commission probing the Easter Sunday attacks yesterday stressed that the Bishops and the Catholic Clergy were in no way made aware of impending attacks on churches by anyone.

The Archdiocese of Colombo in a statement issued under the hands of Auxiliary Bishops of Colombo Most Rev Dr. Maxwell G Silva, Most Rev Dr P Anton Ranjith and Most Rev Dr. J.D Anthony added that MP Fernando has apparently attempted to insinuate that Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith was also aware of this impending attacks and did not celebrate a public Mass in the morning of that fateful day.

The statement said the Archdiocese of Colombo trusts the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to render justice to the hundreds of innocent people who lost their lives or were maimed for life due to both the hateful action of the terrorists and the shameful inactions of the political and administrative as well as intelligence officials of that that time.

“We wish to communicate that His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo, the Administration and the entire Catholic Clergy of the Archdiocesan Presbyterium, is shocked by the news item which was carried in the print and the electronic media recently, with regard to the statement made by Harin Fernando, a member of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating the attacks carried out on Easter Sunday 2019.

Giving evidence, Mr Fernando apparently has attempted to insinuate that the Cardinal was also aware of the impending attacks and did not celebrate a public Mass in the morning of that fateful day, is purely a presumption on the part of Mr Fernando.As done in the past years, His Eminence had indeed presided over the solemn celebration of the Easter Vigil Service at midnight of Saturday, the 20th April 2019 which followed with the Easter Sunday Festive High Mass at St. Lucia’s Cathedral, Colombo 13 ending in the early hours of Sunday Morning. Subsequently, he had celebrated another Holy Mass at Archbishop’s House in the morning of 21.

It is after this second Mass, that he received information of the bomb attack at St. Anthony’s Church and he rushed to Kotahena to ascertain the situation and try to console those who had been affected. Mr Fernando, therefore, has tried to defend himself by dragging the Cardinal and the Bishops as well as the Catholic clergy were in no way made aware of this plot by anyone and so the allegation is baseless.

“We wish to therefore condemn this puerile attempt of Mr. Fernando to find excuse for his own grave misdeed and cast unjustified and unfounded aspersions on His Eminence.We reiterate that we fully trust the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to render justice to the hundreds of innocent people who lost their lives or were maimed for life due to, both the hateful actions of the terrorists and the shameful inaction of the political and administrative as well as intelligence officials of that time, who are responsible for this mindless carnage of human beings. Justice must prevail at all cost,” the statement said.