Pope leaves post-war Sri Lanka after preaching reconciliation

Pope Francis (C) blesses the altar during a mass in Colombo January 14, 2015. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte (Reuters)

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Pope Francis started the second leg of his Asia tour on Thursday, departing from Sri Lanka after a two-day visit in which he preached a message of reconciliation between the country's different religious groups to huge crowds. Francis visited a Church-founded, post-war reconstruction institute in Sri Lanka before boarding a flight to the Philippines, where he will stay until Monday. On Wednesday night he became only the second pope to visit a Buddhist temple. (Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Paul Tait)