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Sri Lanka: Pope names new bishop of Ratnapura

Msgr. Anton Wyman Croos, bishop-elect of the Diocese of Rathnapura, Sri Lanka.

Pope Francis appointed Father Antony Wyman Croos of the clergy of the Diocese of Chilaw as the new bishop of Ratnapura, Sri Lanka. 

The announcement was made on March 5.

The bishop-elect Croos was born in Chilaw on November 8, 1967. He has served as a priest for over 23 years, since his ordination on September 16, 2000, for the Diocese of Chilaw.

He succeeds Salesian Bishop Cletus Chandrasiri Perera, who has led the Ratnapura diocese since May 2007.

He completed his studies in philosophy and theology at the Our Lady of Lanka National Major Seminary in Kandy.

He has held the following positions and carried out further studies: Parochial Vicar of St. Anne's Shrine, Talawila (2000–2001); parish priest of St. Mary's, Mampuri (2001–2009).

He served as the director of the Saint Joseph Vaz Diocesan Pastoral Center (2009–2010); parish priest of St. Francis Xavier, Kattaikadu (2010–2011);

He obtained a Licentiate in Pastoral Theology and Christology at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Southern Italy, St. Thomas Aquinas Section, in Capodimonte, Naples, while simultaneously serving as Chaplain of the Sri Lankan Community in Naples (2011–2014).

He was the diocesan director of Caritas (2015–2019).

Since 2019, he has been diocesan director of lands and possessions and episcopal vicar for the religious deaneries of the Chilaw and Puttalam regions.

Croos will become Ratnapura Diocese's fifth bishop.

The previous bishops were Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, Harold Anthony Perera, Ivan Tilak Jayasundera, and Cletus Chandrasiri Perera.

The Diocese of Ratnapura established itself on November 2, 1995. The diocese is located in Sabaragamuwa province.

According to Vatican data (2022), the diocese has as many as 19,521 Catholics spread over 24 parishes.


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