Pope Francis changes schedule to visit Sri Lankan Buddhist temple

Francis becomes only second pontiff to visit a Buddhist temple after accepting invitation to witness rare ritual at Agrashravaka temple

The Guardian carries the AP article on the decision of His Holiness, Pope Francis to

… change his schedule at the last minute to pay his respects at an important place of worship in Sri Lanka’s capital and to witness a key ritual for Buddhists: the opening of a casket containing relics of two important disciples of the Buddha.

Pope Francis visits the Agrashravaka temple in Colombo

Pope Francis at the Agrashravaka temple in Colombo to witness the opening of a casket containing relics of two key disciples of the Buddha. Photograph: Osservatore Romano/Handout/EPA

Usually, the relics are only put on display once a year, and Buddhists from aroundSri Lanka line up for days to pay homage to them since it is such a rare privilege.

The head monk at the temple, Banagala Upatissa, said that allowing the pope to see the relics was “the highest honour and respect we can offer to his holiness”.

The entire article about this visit and important act of interfaith is here

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