A Sri Lankan priest has been appointed by Pope Francis as Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID).
Msgr. Indunil Janakaratne Kodithuwakku, currently the under-secretary of the Council, succeeds previous secretary, Spanish Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot.
52-year-old Msgr. Indunil, who is from the Diocese of Badulla, Sri Lanka, was ordained in December 2000. After completing a doctorate in missiology from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, he was appointed professor at the Faculty of Missiology.
In 2012, he was appointed as Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue by Pope Benedict XVI.
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue was established by Pope Paul VI on Pentecost Sunday 1964, with the aim of promoting dialogue with persons of other religions, in line with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.
The PCID is composed of about 30 members and some 50 councillors from across the world from a variety of different backgrounds. These all serve as consultants, specialists in religious studies and are engaged in the field of dialogue.
In 2019, Pope Francis has undertaken several pastoral visits, such as those to Morocco, United Arab Emirates and Bulgaria, in which interreligious dialogue has played a major role.
Speaking about interreligious dialogue in an interview with Jonas Soto, Msgr. Indunil said: “Ignorance is a danger today and leads to prejudice. Dialogue helps us to overcome prejudices, and also to understand the other. Interreligious dialogue leads to interreligious cooperation.”
Msgr. Indunil will be the second Sri Lankan priest to hold a secretarial position at a papal council.
Picture: Vatican News