Sunday the 16th of May

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

More churches could face attack, says Sri Lankan cardinal

Sri Lanka’s Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said he had received ‘foreign information’ that attempts would be made this week to attack a church and another Catholic institution.

Cardinal Ranjith shared the information in a letter dated Thursday and sent to Church officials.

Church spokesman Reverend Edmund Thilakaratne confirmed the authenticity of the letter but declined to disclose further details, including the source of the foreign information.

In the letter, that appeared on social media, Cardinal Ranjith said he was closing churches and Catholic schools throughout Sri Lanka and cancelling Mass ‘until further notice’.

A Daesh-linked group carried out Easter suicide bombings in Sri Lanka that killed 257 people.

The 21st April bombings were carried out at churches and luxury hotels and officials have warned that suspects linked to the attacks are still at large.

Cardinal Ranjith has criticised the government’s apparent failure to share near-specific intelligence on the Easter plot and on some of the suspects involved.

A Cabinet minister said on Tuesday that intelligence warnings had indicated that government ministers could be targeted by the same group, which pledged its loyalty to Daesh militants.

Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi postponed a trip to Sri Lanka this week because of security concerns, a senior foreign ministry official said.

The US embassy in Colombo remained closed to the public until Friday.

Sri Lankan police released the names and photographs of nine alleged suicide bombers, on Wednesday, who carried out the Easter attacks, all belonging to an offshoot of a local group called National Towheed Jamaat.

Picture: Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).