3 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/06/2011
ITALY – PAKISTAN
Support my work on behalf of minorities in the footsteps of Shabbaz, says Paul Bhatti
by Dario Salvi
The Bible of the slain Catholic minister is added to the collection of tokens kept at Rome’s Saint Bartholomew Basilica to remember the martyrs. Faisalabad bishop says Bhatti bore witness to “peace and love” in a country victimised by intolerance in the name of religion.

Rome (AsiaNews) – “Support my work and help people in need and those who suffer in Pakistan,” said Paul Bhatti, president of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), in an appeal launched through AsiaNews. He is the brother of Shabbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Minority Affairs minister, who was slain on 2 March in Islamabad. Yesterday evening, a prayer was held in Rome in memory of Shahbaz Bhatti, “martyr of the faith”, who was killed by Muslim fundamentalists. In his homily, Mgr Joseph Coutts, bishop of Faisalabad, focused on the mission of “peace, harmony, love and understanding” carried out by the Catholic minister in a country “experiencing intolerance in the name of religion.”

Against the solemn backdrop of the Saint Bartholomew Basilica on Tiber Island in Rome, Shabbaz Bhatti’s Bible was handed over and placed in the collection of tokens kept inside to remember the martyrs.

A prayer was held for the occasion in memory of the Pakistani minister. It was organised by the Community of Sant’Egidio, and presided by Mgr Joseph Coutts, bishop of Faisalabad, the diocese of the Bhatti family, who was recently elected president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan.

Shabbaz Bhatti’s brother, Paul, was present at the service. He was recently appointed “special advisor” on minority affairs to the Pakistani prime minister.

In appeal to AsiaNews, he said, “The Catholic religion urges people to express solidarity and love without distinctions. For this reason, I call on the Catholics of the world to support not only Christians but also people in need and those who suffer in Pakistan.”

Similarly, he addressed his appeal to the international community and to Western Christians. “I ask for your support and help in discharging my new duties,” he said.

During the homily, Mgr Coutts said that “Shabbaz’s mission was to promote peace, harmony, love and understanding in a country experiencing intolerance in the name of religion”.

Then prelate urged Shabbaz’s brother and the entire catholic community to “continue the work” in the footsteps of the slain minister.

“He showed the way,” the bishop of Faisalabad explained, “and we must continue to along the path with courage.”

In addition, Shahbaz Bhatti wanted to “fulfil Ali Jinnah’s mission,” the prelate said. The founder of Pakistan wanted in fact “a nation with equal rights for all, free from fanaticism.”

“This is why he saw the blasphemy law as dangerous because of the abuses it entailed, and why he struggled to have it changed.”

Saint Bartholomew Basilica on Tiber Island is dedicated to the martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries. It has a collection of some 12,000 documents sent to the Vatican by a commission set up by John Paul II in 2000 to investigate the martyrs of the 20th century.

The Bible that belonged to Shahbaz Bhatti has been added to the other important items kept at the site, which include the missal of Salvadorian Archbishop Oscar Romero.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/29/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Rome, unity and mission to all peoples at feast of Peter and Paul
01/25/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Christian unity requires "all of our energy and efforts", but prayer above all
07/21/2008 PAKISTAN – WYD
More than 200 pilgrims celebrate World Youth Day in Faisalabad
by Qaiser Felix
06/28/2009 VATICAN
Follow Saint Paul in one’s passion for Christ and the Gospel, says Pope
01/25/2009 VATICAN
Pope: Happy Chinese New Year, celebrating Saint Paul’s conversion

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.