Posted on November 6th, 2010

Dinesh Paiva

 Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the religious figure of the Sri Lankan Catholic Church, seems to be becoming something of a joke ever since he was appointed a cardinal by the Pope. He appears to have a assumed a new arrogance and is now running about trying to tell everyone else what they should be doing when there are a myriad of issues in the Catholic Church that need to be put right first.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith needs to decide whether he is a politician or a man of the cloth.

 The Cardinal’s latest bombastic statements to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) seemed to be steeped in ignorance and are deeply prejudicial to ethnic harmony and peace building in Sri Lanka. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith appears to believe that certain parts of Sri Lanka belong exclusively to particular ethnic groups – in this case, he appears to believe that the north and east of Sri Lanka belong exclusively to Tamils and thus should not be open to non-Tamils. He chides the return of non-Tamils to parts of their country which have been out of bounds for more than 25 years.

 Such views are appalling and should be roundly condemned by all right thinking Sri Lankans. All Sri Lankan citizens, regardless of their ethnic origin or religious beliefs should be allowed free movement throughout the country. The north of the country is now finally open to Sri Lankans both of Tamil and non-Tamil origin and it should stay that way. People to people contact can only help the cause of peace and harmony.

 Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s opposition to the opening up of the north is both curious and duncish. Is Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church afraid of losing its domination in Northern Sri Lanka, where for many years it maintained a close relationship with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a terrorist group banned in many contries? Is Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith afraid than non-Catholics will return to the north and rebuild their places of worship and thus threaten his Christian missionary activities? Is he afraid of religious pluralism and ethnic integration? Is he afraid of Muslim refugees returning to their land of origin?

 During the war which ravaged the country and led to the deaths of thousands of lives, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith never uttered a word against all those Catholic priests in northern Sri Lanka who acted as agents of the LTTE and aided in the abduction of Tamil children to be used as child soldiers. He did not utter a word about Catholic churches being used as store houses for arms and ammunition and as safe houses for suicide bombers. He has been blind and dumb to the rampant sexual and physical abuse of Sri Lankan children taking place at the hands of predatory priests in Catholic schools and seminaries across the country. Parishioners who want justice for their abused children are threatened with excommunication and the Church’s hired thugs. Under Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s watch none of the rogue Catholic priests have been brought to justice, but yet he sits in sharp judgement over those outside his church.

 The Cardinal must take a serious step forward and move away from his regressive and bigoted views. With greater power comes greater responsibility and as a Cardinal he must act with more dignity. There are many issues in the Sri Lankan Catholic Church that require his urgent attention and the Cardinal has no role to play in national politics. The Sri Lankan Church ought to act as a peace builder and not as an institution that propagates racism and ethnic and religious hatred.

 The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka urgently needs to implement mandatory anti-racism sensitivity education for their young priests in the seminaries.

They need to be taught that Sri Lanka belongs to all her citizens and there are no ethnic bantustans belonging to any one particular community. They need to be taught that all religions are beautiful and that Christianity is not superior to any other religion.

 But if Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has any say with his current views, it does not appear that this will happen. And that is very unfortunate, both for Sri Lanka and her multi-ethnic and multi-religious people.

One Response to “Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s Agenda”

  1. jay-ran Says: 
    November 8th, 2010 at 7:12 amYes Dinesh this cardinal thinks HE IS TOO BIG FOR HIS SHOES after gaining the new position.These idiots were all silent when 1) Sacred Dalada Maligawa was attacked by brutal LTTE murderers,2) Hundreds of Buddhist devotees were gunned down at Sacred Anuradhapura Boe Tree,3) 30 odd Young Buddhist Novice Monks BRUTALLY HACKED TO DEATH AT ARANTALAWA, 4) Muslim Mosque was attacked,5) Sinhalese and Muslims WERE CHASED OUT FROM NORTH & EAST.
    Now started preaching and advicing Sri Lankan Govt HOW TO RUN, WHAT A JOKER HE IS???

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