A joint Anglican/ Roman Catholic Youth Conference took place recently at the Subodhi Retreat Centre in Piliyandala, just outside Colombo. The topic of the meeting was “so that they may be one” (Jn, 17:22).

This is the fruitful result of a dialogue between the two churches, was how Fr. Sam Ponniah, chaplain of the CCYM described the meeting, which brought together 45 youth from both the Sinhala and Tamil communities, representing the Catholic Youth Federation and the CCYM.

The first, “main purpose is to build fraternity between the Catholic and the Anglican Churches. For this reason, it is useful to begin with the young,” said Fr Gihan Gunatilake, director of the National and Colombo Diocese Youth Federation.

“Secondly, some common problems affect our religion. Thirdly, we must make a common effort to get the government to introduce Christianity in the high school curriculum. At present, the two are presented in separate materials and texts. in the future we would like a single subject and a single text. "

Patricia Nishanthi , a youth leader from the Diocese of Ratnapura stated;

“I had some wrong ideas…. I always thought that Roman Catholics were the best or on higher level than others. Now I know that such thoughts are meaningless”.  “     We do not worship or do not give the first place to Mother Mary, but we respect her as the mother of Jesus . . . We must put aside these differences and be united as one family in the name of God, our only God  added Anne Cuttilan, from St. John’s Church, Panadura

Bishop Dhilo addressing the meeting stressed that whatever our Church may be  we should love God  “Only when we work together as a single Church is God 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."

(Adapated from  an article in Asia News)

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