Fr. Tissa Balasuriya

Fr. Tissa Balasuriya

February 4, 2013

Church officials and social activists in Sri Lanka praised Oblate Father Tissa Balasuriya, 88, a prominent theologian who died Jan. 17 in Colombo.

“Let us bury only the bones and the flesh of Father Balasuriya, but let us keep his words and deeds,” said Bishop Norbert Andradi, secretary-general of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka, at the Jan. 19 funeral.

Balasuriya incurred excommunication in 1997 for statements about Mary, original sin, Christ’s redemptive role, revelation and papal authority in his book, Mary and Human Liberation.

The excommunication was revoked a year later.

Oblate Father Rohan Silva, provincial of Colombo, said Balasuriya “was a visionary educationist” who influenced the outlook of many theologians.