The people of Sri Lanka welcomes the new card. Malcolm Ranjith
By AsiaNews
Oct 20, 2010

Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, the cardinal archbishop of Colombo and the only Asian among the 24 who will be appointed on November 20 by Pope Benedict XVI. The announcement was made today by the same pontiff's general audience at the end. The news was welcomed by the population and also the President Mahinda Rajapaksa has congratulated the Archbishop. AsiaNews collected some hot reviews as Christians, Buddhists, Sinhalese and Tamils of the Archdiocese of Colombo.

P. Reginald Saparamadu, director of the Pontifical Mission of Sri Lanka, says: "I am very happy with the appointment of Cardinal Bishop. Ranjith, because in recent years has supported the Pope's work in defense of the faith and the Church. "

Cliffor David, Christian, Tamil and director of a travel agency emphasizes that the Catholic community and other faiths in Sri Lanka must continue to pray that God guide the archbishop and cardinal in his path in his ministry as a priest. Chalan Senadeera, Catholic and member of the Holy Childhood of Wewala comunity, said: "I am very happy to hear that our beloved archbishop remains a cardinal, I think it's a great opportunity for our Church." "I - he adds - I was one of his students and he is also the founder of our community, are therefore pleased to be able to pray for him every day."

Madampagama Assaji Thero, a Buddhist priest and director dell'Interreligious Peace Foundation, thanked the Pope for his choice, and stresses that the appointment of Mgr. Ranjith is an enrichment for all Buddhist religious leaders in Sri Lanka. "When he was bishop of dicoesi Rathnapura - he says - has done much to interreligious dialogue, not just trying to solve the ethnic problems, but also speak directly with leaders of the Tamil Tigers."

Another Buddhist, Anura Ranatunga, layman and member of HelpAge, charitable organization for children, said: "I congratulate Msgr. Ranjith and I hope it can carry out successfully his new position. " "Although I am a Buddhist - he continues - I often read his articles and books and think this is one of the few religious leaders and wise sages of this country." The man calls Mgr. Ranjith to get even more attention to the problems of the country and hopes that with his appointment in the future will lead the authorities of Sri Lanka on the right track.

Marimuttu Sathivel, Anglican priest in Tamil, congratulated the archbishop, but his criticism conmtinui relations with the government and hopes that his appointment as cardinal is an opportunity to improve the political situation in the country.

Born in 1947 in a Catholic family of Columbus, Msgr. Ranjith was educated in a school of the Brothers of Christian schools in La Salle. In 1966 he entered the major seminary in Kandy and was later transferred to Rome, the College of Propaganda Fide, to complete his theological studies. Ordained in 1975 by Paul VI in 1978 and returned home in July 1991 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo. After three years becoming bishop of the new Diocese of Ratnapura, a position he held until October 1, 2001 when he was appointed secretary to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. On April 29, 2004 became apostolic nuncio to Indonesia and East Timor, and he was awarded the title of archbishop Umbriatico. From December 10, 2005 is secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and in 2009 Pope Benedict XVI named him Archbishop of Colombo. Since 2010, the President of the Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka. Recently, Mgr. Ranjith has published a diocesan liturgical abuses of his archdiocese, in which it called sobriety in the liturgy and the utmost attention to the proper celebration of the Eucharist, asking religious and faithful to receive Communion in the mouth and on her knees.