Canonization Of First Sri Lankan Saint, Bl. Joseph Vaz, C.O., An Indian Missionary, By Pope Francis Will Not Amuse The Buddhist Majority.
by Anura Guruge
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As I have already talked about Pope Francis’ scheduled visit to Sri Lanka in January 2014, the 3rd visit by a pope, might not be such a great idea with the rabid, radical extremist Buddhist now up in arms.
Joseph Vaz was an Indian and a missionary.
The new BIG gripe that the Sri Lankan Buddhist have, rightly or wrongly, is that they feel aggrieved that the Island was subject to Christian missionary influences (though they forget that Buddhism was also introduced by missionaries). So being a missionary is the first strike against Vaz (and one of Sri Lanka’s cricketing idols, though now retired, bears a variant of that name, ‘Vaas’, Chaminda Vaas).
Plus Joseph Vaz is Indian. Yikes! The Sri Lankan Buddhist have it in for India — partly because they are mad that India, correctly, claims that the (latest) Buddha was born in India (as opposed to Sri Lanka).
I do not think the Sri Lankan Buddhist have had a chance to fully digest this news since it only came out a few days ago. Plus to confuse matters ‘the AP’ is calling him by what I think they think is his Italian name “Giuseppe Baz”. So that will throw many people off.
I have already ‘spoken’, by e-mail, with a couple of Sri Lankan Catholics — including a retired Archbishop. I think that the pope’s visit could spell trouble though the Sri Lankan government is now extremely good at providing immaculate, fail-safe security for VIPs — given all the practice they have had during the two decades of Civil War.