POPE WATCH: Buddhist temple gives pope its highest honour in last minute schedule change

By , on January 15, 2015


Pope Francis greets the pilgrims during his weekly general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on December 04, 2013. Giulio Napolitano / Shutterstock
Pope Francis greets the pilgrims during his weekly general audience in St Peter’s square at the Vatican on December 04, 2013. Giulio Napolitano / Shutterstock

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Pope Francis is in the second day of a weeklong visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Here are some glimpses of his trip as it unfolds:

BUDDHIST TEMPLE’S HIGHEST HONOR
Pope Francis made a last-minute change to his schedule late Wednesday to visit an important Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka’s capital, becoming only the second pontiff to visit a Buddhist place of worship after St. John Paul II paid his respects at a temple in Thailand in 1984.

Monks at the Agrashravaka Temple opened a casket containing important Buddhist relics, an event that usually only takes place once a year. The head monk at the temple, Banagala Upatissa, said opening the relics was “the highest honour and respect” they could show to the pontiff.