Despite the possibility of violence, the Catholic Church is relying on faith in God and government assurances that the upcoming presidential election will not interfere with the scheduled visit of Pope Francis in January, a spokesman said yesterday. The presidential election has been fixed for January 8 – five days ahead of the Pope's visit. The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, declined to comment but Spokesman , Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini, said: "Nobody knew that the elections will be held close to the Holy Father's visit. We would have been happy if the elections had been held well before the papal visit."