» 11/12/2011, 00.00
Karachi, Pakistan’s largest Catholic church is inaugurated
The papal nuncio and the local archbishop have blessed the church of St. Peter, built in 11 months, 24 meters high, it can accommodate up to 5 thousand faithful. Archbishop Pinto: The building is a "sign of the growth of our faith." The papal representative reads a message from the Pope, who remembers "the abundance of divine mercy."
Karachi (AsiaNews / UCAN) - The Apostolic Nuncio to Pakistan Mgr. Edgar Pena Parra has blessed the newly built Church of St. Peter, in Karachi, the largest Catholic building across the country. Opened on November 9 last after 11 months of work, it can accomodate up to 5 thousand faithful. The ceremony was attended by the Nuncio, and Mgr. Evarist Pinto, Archbishop of Karachi, who arrived at the threshold of the church arrived aboard a horse-drawn carriage and was greeted by thousands of people who threw rose petals. Karachi is the capital of the southern province of Sindh, the second most populous in Pakistan with its 30 million inhabitants and was the scene - last year - of bloody violence and attacks, so as to be dubbed the "most dangerous" city in the country.
Addressing the Catholic community, Mgr. Pinto has invited those present to serve the Church with greater responsibility, St Peter’s Church, the prelate added, is "a sign of the growth of our faith" and its construction has been "a great challenge." The Apostolic Nuncio read a message of Benedict XVI to the faithful, in which the pope stressed "the abundance of divine mercy" which is also revealed through concrete actions. 37 priests from all over Pakistan concelebrated at the inaugural Mass of St. Peter's Church, along with the two prelates.
In the past the the country's largest Catholic place of worship was St. Patrick's Cathedral, also in Karachi, with a capacity of about 2 thousand. Now the record belongs to the new building, built in just 11 months, covering an area of 1,858 square meters and capable of accommodating up to 5 thousand faithful. The church is 24 meters high, all the windows are stained glass representations of sacred art. Funding for the project came from various sources, including the Pontifical Mission Societies, Missio, the German diocese of Rothenberg and the Italian Episcopal Conference.
At the conclusion of the Mass, the Papal Nuncio Pena Parra blessed the Perpetual Adoration Chapel, a room built of glass in a corner of the church open for prayer every stroke of the hour. Fr. Mario Rodrigues, assistant pastor at St. Paul's Church, explains that "24 hour adoration is about to be introduced in churches across the country."
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