UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka mourns film critic priest

Father Ernest Poruthota was famed for his contributions to cinema and disseminating Catholicism

UCA News reporter, Colombo

UCA News reporter, Colombo

Updated: June 17, 2020 06:39 AM GMT
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Sri Lanka mourns film critic priest

Father Ernest Poruthota with Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo. (Photo: SIGNIS Sri Lanka)

Share this article :
A priest famed for his contributions to Sri Lankan cinema and Catholic communications died on June 16.

Father Ernest Poruthota, 88, was born on Aug. 31, 1931, in Marawila and was ordained on Feb. 2, 1957, at St. Lucia's Cathedral, Kotahena, Colombo.

The writer and film critic was credited with a significant contribution to Sinhala cinema. He held the post of director of the Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual (OCIC) from 1972 to 1982 and was chaplain of the Young Christian Workers Movement.

Oblate Father Lal Pushpadewa Fernando, director of the National Commission for Social Communications, said Father Poruthota had encouraged people from all walks of life and with all kinds of talents to strive towards meaningful goals.

"In every field in Sri Lanka, there are persons who have received some guidance from him, and this is especially prominent in fields like mass media, theater, cinema, music, literature, architecture, visual art, photography, sculpture, dancing, priestly and vocation diplomacy," said Father Fernando, president of SIGNIS Sri Lanka and country president of Radio Veritas.

"He meant what he said and said what he meant. He was a man of integrity, originality and authenticity. Father Poruthota was committed to safeguarding the life-giving values of Sinhala culture and absorbing them into Catholic tradition. A Catholic sees beyond the surface of things and sharply penetrates into the deepest core of things. A Catholic has a comprehensive grasp of complete reality.

"What I am now is the result of those who had been before me, and I salute Father Poruthota, my guru who had been in my media journey." 

Father Poruthota was influential in assisting many upcoming filmmakers, especially when he came across Dharmasiri Bandaranayake. "He screened my first film, Hansa Vilak, at the OCIC center in 1979," said the veteran director.

Nilushi Deepthi, a Catholic writer, said Father Poruthota was an outspoken priest. "He loved Sri Lankan cinema and writers. He was also instrumental in bringing the Second Vatican Council to the Sri Lankan Catholic Church," said Deepthi.

Father Poruthota had been receiving treatment at a private hospital at the time of his death. His funeral service will take place on June 18 at 2.30pm at St. Philip Neri Church, Katukurunda.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution