A statute of St. Anthony is seen kept out side the exploded St. Anthony's church as naval soldiers carry out reconstruction work in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, May 3, 2019. Catholic services are being canceled for a second weekend in Sri Lanka's capital after the government warned of more possible attacks by the same Islamic State-linked group that carried out Easter suicide bombings. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Sri Lanka Catholics celebrate Mass via TV amid new warnings

May 05, 2019 - 12:28 am

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan Catholics are celebrating Sunday Mass in their homes for a second week as churches remain closed after reports of possible fresh attacks by Islamic extremists.

Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, offered a televised Mass from his residence that was attended mostly by priests and nuns.

A letter from Pope Francis addressed to him was read out at the end of the service in which the pontiff says he prayed that "hearts hardened by hatred may yield to His will for peace and reconciliation among all his children."

At St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo, one of the sites targeted by Easter suicide bombings that killed 257 people, a Mass was celebrated for a small group of children and youth as a means for inner healing.

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