Card. Coutts: let us become a people of peace, understanding, harmony
by Shafique Khokhar

The cardinal marks the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination recalling the stages of his ministry. "We can be different, have different languages, different religions, but we can live together, respecting each other as the bouquet of flowers with different flowers brings a new reality".


Karachi (AsiaNews) - On January 9, Cardinal Joseph Coutts celebrated 50 years of priestly ordination in his Archdiocese of Karachi. During a dinner he said that it is not enough just to pray if you don't know how to do anything else, you must also love your neighbour as yourself.

He said: “I never thought of being a bishop, when I had joined the seminary I had a very simple idea of doing good works, I saw the missionaries from Belgium, they had left their families and countries they came here, they find the climate so hot they made lots of sacrifices here. In those days there were very few local priests in Pakistan and those missionaries could not go homes for years as they were serving our people, why cannot we do the good works, that’s the idea I had when I joined the seminary.” 

The prelate of the Catholic Church in Karachi has been committed to helping people, when he went to meet the governor of Sindh, he said that the Catholic Church has about 60 schools in Karachi, the governor asked him unexpectedly if the cardinal was wrong talking about 60 schools, the Cardinal replied that there are very few very well known in the city, but the Church has more schools for more people who are helped. We have hospitals like Holy Family and Mary Adelaide working for tuberculosis and leprosy and now Mary Adelaide has 157 centers across Pakistan.

Cardinal Coutts, recalling the old days in the diocese of Hyderabad, where he was appointed bishop in 1990, said that he had never been there, coming from Lahore, a metropolitan city, where many episodes of terrorism were happening that had nothing to what to do with religion but with politics, therefore, “when I became bishop I chose my motto 'Harmony' to live together”.

“Then, Karachi, a city where there were men of peace like Sayed Hakkem, whose 100th birthday was celebrated yesterday, Abdul Sitar Edhi, Dr. Ruth Pfau and his sister Ruth Louis. They are people who have given us an example of how we should respect our humanity. So I chose this word 'Harmony' we should learn to live what is harmony and peace. We can be different, have different languages, different religions, but we can live together, respecting each other as the bouquet of flowers with different flowers brings a new reality. Each flower has its own identity, but when you combine them together you get something new. We can do it in our society. I feel very encouraged when I see Muslim people and bright minded people like Zafar Abass, Faisal Edhi and many others. We should all come together to create harmony like a bouquet of flowers when I see these people in Karachi, the city of violence. I say we can do something, so let's work for that. All religions have a fundamental massage of humanity”.

Cardinal Joseph Coutts concluded his message by saying that we all have a religion and good values ​​but that we are not living them, none of the sacred books teaches violence; let's work together for peace. "I want to thank all the people who have wished me in various ways: let's become the people of peace, understanding, harmony, and spread the same massage, throw a pebble into the water and bring change to our society and to Pakistan."

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