Fact Check: Did Pope Francis appoint Monsignor Indunil Janakaratne due to lack of faith in Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith …?

False National

In response to the stern statement made by Cardinal Malcom Ranjith at the occasion of the re-opening of Katuwapitiya church, 3 months after the brutal Easter Sunday bomb attacks, various groups have voiced varied opinions. While some have stated these statements were bold and valid, others have questioned the need of such remarks and the political involvement of the Cardinal.

In this scenario, we found that some Facebook groups and websites have made a claim that the Pope’s recent appointmentof Monsignor Indunil Janakaratne as the secretary to inter-religious dialogue body due to the lack of faith with Cardinal Malcom Ranjith.

Facebook link of Voice of Lanka , Web Link , Archived Link

The website link even refers to a screenshot of the heading of the official news published on Vatican News

A similar post was found on the Facebook page of BreakingLK , Web Link  (Archived Link) on the 23rd July,2019.  The website article goes on to state that the appointment of Monsignor Indunil Janakaratne was done yesterday (22nd July), with response to following the remarks made by Cardinal Malcom Ranjith during his speech which has resulted in a loss of faith toward the Pope.

Sri Lanka Puvath Web Link  (Archived Link ) also stated the same story. So, is there a relation between Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s statement and appointment of Monsignor Indunil Janakaratne as the secretary of inter-religious dialogue body? Is Pope upset with Cardinal Malcolm? Let us find out the answers to these questions.

Fact Check

To verify the validity of the claims made by these websites we checked the original Vatican News website, which these websites had quoted. Web Link , Archived Link  

According to the news article published in relation to the appointment of Monsignor Indunil Janakaratne, website states as below.

“Pope Francis on July 3 appointed Sri Lankan priest, Msgr. Indunil Janakaratne Kodithuwakku Kankanamalage as Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The 52-year-old monsignor has been serving as the Under-secretary of the Council since 2012.”

Number of main streammainstream media channels have reported the correct incident as well. News First, Daily Mirror . The news reports even mention that…

“Msgr. Indunil succeeds previous Secretary, Spanish Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, whom Pope Francis appointed as President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on 25 May, following the death of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran on 5 July 2018.”

Furthermore, after contacting the media section of the Archbishop’s house in Colombo, we were able to confirm that there was no link between the appointment of Msgr. Indunil Janakaratne and to that of Cardinal Malcom Ranjith. In factAs a matter of fact, we were also told that current Cardinal Malcom Ranjith held a similar position during his stint at the Vatican city (2005 – 2009 : Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Vatican). Moreover, we were also told thatAlso, in order to reach achieve the position of Cardinal one had has to go through the ranks of Monsignor, Bishop and Archbishop hence both positions are not comparable to each other. 


From our investigation, it is evident that the appointment of Msgr. Indunil Janakaratne to the position of Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on 3rd of July had no connection with the statement made by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith on 21st of July at during the reopening of the Katuwapitiya Church.


Title:Fact Check: Did Pope Francis appoint Monsignor Indunil Janakaratne due to lack of faith in Cardinal Malcom Ranjth …?

Fact Check By: Prabuddha 

Result: False

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *