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Sri Lankan Cardinal urges Catholics to fight for justice

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith holds a liturgical service [Chamila Karunarathne/EPA]

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo urged Catholics to " to get down to the streets and fight for justice and do what is right for society" rather than become "sacristy Catholics."

He was speaking at the 40th Anniversary of Deva Dharma Nikethanaya in Colombo.

“Once the Catholic Church functioned as a bishop-priest centered church and did only what the bishop or the priest would say,” said the Cardinal.

“Today, we no longer need such sacristy Catholics. The Church needs Christians who will commit themselves for Christ and follow his example. We do not need spoon-fed babies.”

He added, "Pope Francis wants to change the priest-centred position that has become a theoretical doctrine in the church and to study how the church should change in a way that suits the present world.”

“The Church must change its outlook and these sacristy Catholics are no longer needed,” Cardinal Ranjith said.

He also added that Bishops and Priests should hand over more responsibilities to the laity, and do that with joy; otherwise, the church cannot endure.

Bishop Brian Udaigwe, Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka and Bishop Harold Anthony Perera, the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference, also addressed the gathering.


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