Pakistan Church inaugurates Year of the Bible, challenge for all the faithful
Lahore (AsiaNews) - The Year of the Bible began in Pakistan yesterday, with the hope that the Word "may become a challenge and an invitation to reflection for all the faithful of Pakistan, making our faith more firm and our lives more full". Fr Emmanuel Asi, secretary of the biblical commission of the Pakistani bishops' conference, spoke to AsiaNews on his launching of the initiative, entitled "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church".
The theme, explains Fr Asi, "is the same as the one for the synod of bishops that will be held next October in Rome. The aim of this year is that of spreading and promoting the Bible, on the occasion of the Jubilee of the first translation of the sacred text into Urdu, which took place in 1958. The Protestants will join us in the celebrations that we have prepared over the course of the entire year".
The Year began with a solemn Mass, celebrated in both Lahore and Karachi. The head of the bishops' conference, Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, presided over the celebration in the cathedral of Lahore, while Evarist Pinto - archbishop of Karachi - sent a pastoral letter addressed to the Church of Pakistan. In the text, he also urges the priests to pay "special attention" to the homilies they give, because these "are the nourishment for the faith of Catholics".
Moreover, the archbishop calls upon all the parishes to "bring the word of God to the flock in every way possible", and suggests the creation of "courses, seminars, study classes on the Bible, everything possible to bring people closer to the sacred text. This must become a challenge and an invitation to reflection for all the faithful of Pakistan".