SRI LANKA, December 30, 2014 (Lankaweb by Shenali D. Waduge): The US and Western Christian nations have made clear their foreign policy objectives in Asia. The focus of Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic faith and the State of Vatican is also Asia. Asia is seen as having the greatest potential for the expansion of Catholicism. When the Church declares the Third Christian Millennium as “a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent.” it definitely means harvest of souls and conversion of non-Catholics to Catholicism. Should non-Catholic nations and nationalities not therefore have the right to prepare for eventualities and raise these concerns in public without being told that objections to conversions is against reconciliation, amity between religions and people?
While Sri Lanka’s Sinhala Buddhists, Tamil Hindus and Muslims do not have any objections to a leader of a faith coming to bless people of that faith, what the Church and the Catholic public need to realize is that the objections have historically justifiable reasons. Anyone who has committed crimes over 500 years cannot be offended when they are reminded of them. The Church showed no remorse for any of the crimes committed upon inhabited lands that colonial crusaders were given orders to declare as Christian “discovered lands” and confiscate them from the indigenous while converting natives and killing those that refused. Present-day lay Catholics need to realize that these crimes were committed on behalf of the Church while confiscating artefacts, goods and wealth that belonged to these nations – these confiscated and stolen treasures are all lying inside the Vatican.
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