Mass cancelled again across Sri Lanka

Young people light candles near the closed door of a church in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 28 April 2019, during a vigil in memory of the victims of a string of suicide bomb attacks across the island on Easter . PHOTO: CNS/Thomas Peter, Reuters

Masses have once again been cancelled across Sri Lanka this weekend and Catholic churches and schools closed “until further notice” due to the on-going threat of terrorist attacks.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith made the announcement today in letter to church officials in Sri Lanka that was posted on social media.

Cardinal Ranjith said he had received “foreign information” that there would be further attempts this week to attack a church and a Catholic institution.

This will be the second weekend that Masses have been cancelled following the Easter Sunday bombings which killed 257 people and injured 500.

Pope Francis talks with Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka, during an audience with pilgrims from Sri Lanka after a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican 8 February 2014. PHOTO: CNS/Paul Haring

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks and multiple arrests have been made but Sri Lankan officials have warned that some suspects are still at large.

Cardinal Ranjith has criticised the Sri Lankan government for ignoring intelligence advice prior to the Easter Sunday bombings that attacks were imminent. He said the lack of action taken by the government in light of the advice as “absolutely unacceptable.”

Last weekend Cardinal Ranjith celebrated a televised Mass at his residence. In his homily, he spoke of the mercy of God saying, “The finest expression of God’s love is God’s mercy. Therefore we must love and respect each other.”

“We feel truly sorry for all the families that have lost their loved ones and their dear ones. And I ask you dear brothers and sisters, please pray for them. They were the treasure of our lives, of our faith, or our existence. We pray for them; Lord receive them into your care and your love.”