Pope Helps Pakistani Church by Installing New Archbishop

Published 21 February 2018  |  
Pope Francis is greeted by young children in traditional clothes upon his arrival at Yangon's airport, Myanmar, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. The pontiff is in Myanmar for the first stage of a week-long visit that will also take him to neighboring Bangladesh.

As an indication of support and encouragement to the Church of Pakistan, Pope Francis appointed a new archbishop in Islamabad-Rawalpindi on Feb. 10. Archbishop Joseph Arshad was installed in the diocese that was vacant since 2016.

After the death of Bishop Rufin Anthony in Oct. 2016, the diocese remained inactive. The installation of a new archbishop is a symbol of hope and revival.

"This is an honor, and support and encouragement to the Church of Pakistan," Arshad told Crux.

"Islamabad-Rawalpindi is the capital city of Pakistan, and we are grateful to the Holy Father for this honor," he added.

Arshad had previously served as Bishop of Faisalabad. When he was transferred to his new diocese, the pope gave him the personal title "Archbishop."

"This diocese has a vast area - with not too many priests - and covers a huge territory," said Arshad.

"There are multiple ethnic groups, and we have to work with the people for harmony and peace," he added.

Islamabad-Rawalpindi diocese is a meeting point of many of the nation's different ethnic and religious groups.

"The cultural realities too, are different in different areas of the diocese and these too present creative ways for peace, harmony and development," he said.


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