Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jul 24, 2013 / 12:00 pm
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has forgiven the desecrators of a Catholic church in Sri Lanka, refusing to press criminal charges against them.
Father Cyril Gamin Fernando, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Colombo, told CNA that the act is an exemplar of "Christian love and mercy." He said the gesture caused a "shockwave" of surprise and won "goodwill" among Sri Lankans.
On the night of June 5 a group of drunken young men attacked and desecrated St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in the town of Angulana south of Colombo.
Fr. Sunil De Silva, parish priest of St. Mary's Church in Bambalapitiya, told CNA that the men destroyed the century old historical statues of the church also statues of Mother Mary and forced opened the tabernacle.
He said the group poured Kerosene oil to burn the tabernacle, which miraculously failed to catch fire. Investigators found 30 matches that had been lit soaked inside the Tabernacle.