Pakistani Christians welcome Cardinal Joseph Coutts appointment at Karachi ceremonial dinner
Karachi: August 6, 2018. (PCP) A celebration dinner was held for the appointment of Cardinal Joseph Coutts, who became Pakistan's first Roman Catholic Cardinal since Joseph Cordeiro who died of a protracted illness on February 11th 1994 after himself being appointed by Pope John Paul II in 1973.
Upon his appointment on 29h June 2018, Cardinal Coutts expressed being overwhelmed by the response to his appointment along with hoping that it will allow opportunities for the other 3 milliion Christians in Pakistan who make up approximately 1.6 % of the country's population saying:
â€śI feel I have been called to be a stronger voice for the Christians and marginalized, given the situation here. It is a big challenge,â€ť.
Unable to attend the historic occasion due to a current ban on travel to Pakistan for his efforts to help suffering minorities (click here),our Chairman Wilson Chowdhry sent Mr Masih on his behalf to deliver a bouquet of flowers in joy of Cardinal Coutts elevated position within the most powerful church in the world. Mr Irfan Masih our Karachi officer represented British Pakistani Christian Association at the Welcoming Reception of Cardinal to Joseph Coutts at St Patrickâ€™s Cathedral. Karachi 21st July 2018.
Following the service and dinner there was a series of programmes that celebrated the achievements of Bishop Joseph Coutts during his many tenures from Priest, to Bishop, to Archbishop and finally as a Cardinal, Bishop of Pakistan.
Joseph Coutts is only the Second Bishop who has been chosen as Cardinal from Pakistan the nationâ€™s 71-year history. And the prestige of his position was apparent through the esteemed gathering which included diplomats of various international Embassies, including the Netherlands, and Sri Lanka among other nations.
There were 400 to 500 guests at the grand ceremony including Federal Government officials, local political leaders and some high-profile Islamic leaders. The main body of visitors however from the Catholic Church Management of Karachi included Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brother, Nuns and lower staff. Cardinal Coutts catholic colleagues took the opportunity to celebrate his birthday which also happened to be the same day and even brought out a special birthday cake.
Cardinal Joseph Coutts presented a ten-minute discourse in which he admonished the advancement of peace in Pakistan among various factions of society. Cardinal Coutts stated:
"Any place we will be, we can work for the Peace and Developed the Peace and Harmony among all Nationsâ€ť.
After the event Wilson Chowdhry said: "We hope the appointment of Cardinal Coutts shows the Pakistani authorities that Pak-Christians want vision and solutions in the face of their disenfranchisement. It is good to have a national person to speak for the suffering in the Catholic leadership and also with his Pakistani compatriots no matter what their faith."
"No-one can deny the faith or passion of Archbishop Joseph Coutts, a man who has dedicated his life to Christ and who is responsible for millions of Christian in Pakistan.
"He has been a great advocate for his community since being ordained a priest for the Catholic Church since 1971. He has helped to raise awareness about the great suffering of Christians in Pakistan through his work with Aid to the Church in Need and Pakistani Christians are indebted to him for his work.
"I have personally benefitted from encouraging words from him through several email exchanges over the last few years, and his pastoral care has been greatly appreciated.
"Today I have sent him our best wishes from the BPCA and all our supporters and I encourage Christians across the globe to pray for him as he starts his new post. "