Holy Father Pope Francis will pay a two day visit to Sri Lanka in January 2015 and then to Philippines was an announcement he made at a news conference in the aircraft on his return home to the Vatican.
His Eminence malcolm Cardinal Ranjith opening Sri Lanka's first Catholic TV channel and the studio in Ragama, confirmed that Holy Father Pope Francis will be visiting Sri Lanka on 13th, 14th and 15th January 2015.
At the end of his trip to Holy Land, during the flight from Tel Aviv to Rome, Holy Father Pope Francis spoke for over 40 minutes with the journalists who accompanied him on the flight, answering their questions on various issues.
During the conversation, Holy Father Pope Francis confirmed that he would visit Sri Lanka and Philippines in 2015. Pope Francis' announcement of a papal visit Sri Lanka next year has been received with delight.
His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo and the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Sri Lanka invited Pope Francis to visit Sri Lanka, during the Ad Limina visit of the Bishops’ Conference.
Earlier when a group of pilgrims led by the Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, visited the pope in the Vatican, Pope Francis greeted Cardinal Ranjith, and thanked him for an invitation to visit Sri Lanka. “I welcome this invitation,” the Pope had said, “and I think the Lord will grant us the grace.”
Pope Paul VI visited our motherland on 04th December 1970 and Pope John Paul II visited on 20th January 1995.
During this month’s ad limina meeting, the pope urged the bishops of Sri Lanka to continue their role in working toward reconciliation between the government and the country’s minority Tamils living in former conflict areas.
“After many years of fighting and bloodshed, the war in your country has finally ended … though the war has ended, you rightly note that much work needs to be done to promote reconciliation, to respect the human rights of all the people and to overcome the ethnic tensions that remain,” Pope Francis told the Sri Lankan bishops.