Avoid polls during Pope visit: Church to Sri Lanka

The Roman Catholic Church in Sri Lanka said Monday that it has asked the government to ensure that the country’s presidential election does not conflict with Pope Francis’ visit to the country early next year.

While a date has not been set, the government has said it wants to hold an election sometime in January. Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in the island nation Jan. 13.

The Rev. Cyril Gamini Fernando, the spokesman for the Pope’s visit, said the church has told the government that Francis won’t visit a country during an election campaign, and that there should be enough time between an election and the visit.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said questions about the election were raised at the local church level, but not by the Vatican.

“Here no one has said anything about doubts about the pope’s trip,” Lombardi said in an email to The Associated Press. “We’re going ahead.”

During his visit, the Pope is scheduled to lead the canonisation Mass for Sri Lanka’s first saint, the Rev. Joseph Vaz, a 17th century priest.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 11:07:54 AM |

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