The 58-year-old prelate has been apostolic nuncio in Indonesia and East Timor.
Born in Polgahawela, in what was then called Ceylon, he was ordained a priest in June 1975. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Colombo, the country’s capital, in June 1991.
Four years later, in November 1995, he was appointed bishop of Ratnapura. In October 2001, Pope John Paul II called him to Rome to be an official of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
In April 2004 he was appointed apostolic nuncio in Indonesia and East Timor, being raised to the rank of archbishop.
Archbishop Patabendige Don is replacing Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino as secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship. The latter was appointed by Benedict XVI on Nov. 19 as archbishop of Assisi-Nocera.
The Congregation for Divine Worship is headed by Cardinal Francis Arinze.