Amid schedule delays, pope cancels meeting with Sri Lanka bishops

Pope Francis decided to forego a scheduled meeting with the bishops of Sri Lanka Jan. 13 after delays in arriving at the apostolic nunciature in the country.
Media representatives on the papal trip told CNA that traveling from the airport to the nunciature took longer than expected. The Holy Father greeted many people along the way, and the trip fell behind schedule.
Therefore, the Pope decided to stay at the nunciature and celebrate Mass. It is likely that he will also take the opportunity to freshen up, which he had not yet been able to do, a media representative explained, noting the intense heat in the country.
It was not clear whether the meeting with the bishops would be rescheduled.
Later in the day, the pope is scheduled to pay a courtesy visit to the Sri Lankan president, and then to take part in an interreligious meeting at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo.
Pope Francis is in Sri Lanka Jan. 13-15 and will then travel to the Philippines later this week.
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, the pope delivered a welcoming speech in which he encouraged the people of the nation to “live as one family.”
“Whenever people listen to one another humbly and openly, their shared values and aspirations become all the more apparent,” he said.
For complete coverage of Pope Francis’ trip to Sri Lanka, visit: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/srilanka-philippines15/

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