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    » 03/07/2011, 00.00

    VATICAN - PAKISTAN

    Shahbaz Bhatti “an authentic martyr", Card Tauran leads suffrage mass



    The Pakistani Christians in Italy association organized the celebration, held in Urdu. A deeply moved Cardinal. Tauran recalls the Pakistani minister in his homily.

    Rome (AsiaNews) - Recalling Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistani Minister for Minorities,assassinated March 2 last, a deeply moved Cardinal. Jean-Louis Tauran spoke of their last meeting on 28 November at Lahore airport: "Before I boarded the plane for Rome, we said goodbye. Shahbaz said, 'I know that I will die assassinated, but I lay down my life for Christ and for interreligious dialogue. He already knew, he had already offered his life".  Yesterday Card. Tauran presided at a suffrage mass for the assassinated minister, attended by several priests, nuns and lay people, both Pakistani and Italian. The function was organized by the Pakistani Christians in Italy association, at the Pontifical College St. Peter Apostle in Rome.

    "Being a Christian - the cardinal said during his homily – means always making a choice between good and evil, between being a servant or master".  The hardest thing, he explains, is to ensure that "words are accompanied by actions: we have before us a shining example, Shahbaz Bhatti. We should thank God for this authentic martyr. He chose God as his Savior for his life, the Church as his mother, and human beings as his brothers. "

    "In his spiritual testament – continued the card. Tauran - Bhatti wrote ‘I am no longer afraid, I dedicate my life to Jesus I do not want positions of power, I just want a place at Jesus' feet’: if he exercised a power, it was the power of his heart”.

    Yesterday morning during the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI recalled the Pakistani minister’s "poignant sacrifice of life". And speaking of the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pope expressed the hope that his death will "awaken in consciences, the courage and commitment to protect the religious freedom of all men and, in doing so, promote their equal dignity" .

     

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    See also

    12/03/2011 PAKISTAN
    Police try to downplay murder of Shahbaz Batthi. Fears for Asia Bibi
    Puzzling statements by the Inspector General of Police who claims, assassination motivated by "personal enmity". Bishop of Islamabad highly critical: " Islamabad police are trying to find a scapegoat to save themselves, and coveru p their failure." Asia Bibi upset, fears for her life.

    04/03/2011 PAKISTAN
    Politicians, Christian leaders and thousands of people at the funeral for Shahbaz Bhatti
    Tight security in place around the Catholic church of Our Lady of Fatima, roads closed to traffic. His body will be flown by helicopter to his native village of Khushpur (Punjab), for burial. The minister had not lived in his official residence for some time, but in a rented house to avoid attacks.

    17/09/2011 PAKISTAN
    Assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti: new falsehoods from the police
    The two suspects would be former Christians converted to Islam, in conflict with the Bhatti family over some property. The Bishop of Islamabad: "The statement by the police is absurd." Christian and Muslim personalities decry a cover-up and demand a new inquiry commission.

    07/03/2011 PAKISTAN
    Mgr Saldanha: Pope's words comfort Christians still in shock over Bhatti murder
    Archbishop of Lahore says faithful will "continue the fight against the blasphemy law" launched by the Minister for Minorities. Memorial Mass at the Cathedral tomorrow. A truly serene and peaceful coexistence in Pakistan "will take a long, long time." The weakness of politicians and government does not encourage changes to the "black law".

    03/03/2011 PAKISTAN
    Assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti: three days of mourning, Pakistani Church on strike
    The bishops underline their "profound grief" over the loss of "a statesman" who fought for Interreligious Dialogue and against the blasphemy law. Anglican Church united in mourning. The Pakistani president and the PML-N condemn the assassination. Christians in prayer before the minister's house, chanting slogans and hymns.



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