Ceylon holds first joint Anglican-Catholic youth festival

Building relations between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches begins with young people, the Bishop of Colombo told Sri Lanka’s first ecumenical youth conference last month. “At the end, God will not ask whether you are a Catholic or an Anglican, but only if you are a disciple of God,” the Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj Canagasabey (pictured) told the gathering of Catholic and Anglican teens from the Sinhalese and Tamil communities meeting at the Subodhi Retreat Centre outside Colombo. “For this reason, we must lead our lives in this world”. Organised by the Archdiocesan Catholic Youth Federation and the Church of Ceylon Youth Movement (CCYM), the Rev. Samuel Ponniah, directory of the CCYM noted this was one of the first fruits of dialogue between the two churches. ”For the first time in Sri Lanka we are having a big event of this type with some good purpose,” he said, according to a report printed on the diocesan web page. “Whatever our Church, we must love God,” said Bishop Canagasabey. “Only when we work together as a single Church, God is pleased with us. We must work together, because a divided Church is a scandal and God does not expect such divisions, he expects us to be together.” Fr Gihan Gunatilake, director of the Catholic Youth Federation told Asia News organizers hoped the meeting would foster closer links between the two communities, and also allow it to speak with a united voice to the government on issues of religious pluralism and education.


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