Sri Lanka to resume Masses at churches on May 5: Cardinal

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said the Church was closely monitoring government investigations into the April 21 suicide attacks and wanted to be sure of the security situation before returning to daily services.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said the Church was closely monitoring government investigations into the April 21 suicide attacks and wanted to be sure of the security situation before returning to daily services.PHOTO: NYTIMES

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Catholic Church said public Masses will resume on Sunday (May 5) amid tight security, two weeks after Easter Sunday bombings killed 253 people at three churches and three luxury hotels.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said the Church was closely monitoring government investigations into the April 21 suicide attacks and wanted to be sure of the security situation before returning to daily services.

"On the 5th of May, we are going to begin Masses," he told AFP on Tuesday.

"But we will start with a smaller number of Masses and see if we can slowly increase it depending on how the situation develops."

The Cardinal, who is also the Archbishop of Colombo, conducted a private memorial Mass that was broadcast live on television last Sunday after cancelling all public services amid fears of a repeat of the Easter attacks.

Armed guards and an armoured personnel carrier have been placed outside the Cardinal's Colombo residence as part of his security arrangements.

But he said he returned a bullet-proof limousine that was given by the government and instead travelled in an ordinary car.

 

"I am not afraid. I don't need bullet-proof vehicles to go about. The Lord is my protector," he said.

"But I want security for my people, and for the country."