AND MAYBE EVEN IRELAND!!!!!
Who would have believed it? Sri Lanka has one cardinal amongst 117 in the College of Cardinals who will vote for the next Pope. Britain has NONE. The only Cardinal from Scotland was just asked to resign yesterday by the outgoing Pope amidst allegations of sexual impropriety, and so will not be able to go to Rome to vote. It is also interesting to note that Malcolm Ranjith was named as a possible successor to the Pope due to his connections inside the Vatican! So we never know!
Anyway there is pressure on the Cardinal of all Ireland also to refrain from going to Rome to vote due to serious allegations in the dominant Irish Catholic Church about a string of abuses, which had not been suitably investigated, prosecuted and held to account. So if one looks at the Catholic History in Sri Lanka, the Irish nuns who played a major role in establishing the faith in Sri Lanka, along with no doubt Irish Priests, the then largest human resource export from Ireland, may not even have a Cardinal in Rome to cast a vote!
The world moves in mysterious ways, and it is something to ponder on. It shows that the Catholic Church is in decline morally and in numbers in the Countries that espoused it and protected it, and is growing in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where it is likely that more than even odds for a Pope to be appointed from.
It is also an exercise in speculation, but what if, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith becomes Pope. I know the odds are long, but nevertheless being a Vatican insider and a strong backer of the current Pope, he may get his blessings.
He is an administrator who at 65 can be a strong hand in changing the Church to one that is more in tune with the modern era, and be responsive to the congregations. What would that make him? The most powerful Sri Lankan ever!!!
How would the Bodu Bala Sena take that? Insulted or Elated. You can feel my mind turning summersaults. Hell will have no fury when headlines scream “Is SL a Catholic Country” to produce a Pope. What will be the aftermath? All SL Catholics lined up and shot, as revenge for the insult. The mind boggles.
The lesson in this is as Buddhist as it gets. Life is impermanent and we must know we know nothing, have nothing, are nothing and above all are free of encumbrance.
When we reach our final destination we are free!