The Most Rev Dr Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo has been formally elevated to the status of Cardinal doing Sri Lanka as well as the Asia proud.
Pope Benedict the XVI elevated him to this high position at the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica. The Pontiff formally elevated 24 new cardinals in the midst of cheers in St. Peter’s Basilica. Following a liturgical greeting, the Pope read the formula of creation and proclaimed the names of the new cardinals. It was followed by the Liturgy of the Word, Pope’s Homily, the Profession of Faith and the taking of the oath by each Cardinal. Around 70 Sri Lankan priests, six Members of Parliament and 200 invitees witnessed his elevation. Most Rev. Ranjith is the only Asian among the 24 prelates drawn into the much prestigious Sacred College of Cardinals – the highest ecclesiastical body of the Roman Catholic Church. A main function of a Cardinal is to advice the Pontiff about Church matters when he summons them to an ordinary consistory.
His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith is the second Sri Lankan after his Eminence Late Thomas Cardinal Cooray to be anointed Cardinal. Malcolm Ranjith was born in Polgahawela. He studied at the De LaSalle College in Mutwal before entering Sr. Aloysius Seminary in Borella in 1965.
From 1966 to 1970, he pursued studies in theology and philosophy at the National Seminary in Ampitiya, Kandy and was later sent by the then Archbishop Thomas Cardinal Cooray to further his priestly studies in Rome. After he graduated from the Pontifical Urbanian University with a Baccalaureate in Theology in 1975, Malcolm Ranjith was organized to the priesthood by Pope Paul the Sixth at St. Peter’s Basilica.