Christian community of Pakistan to get second cardinal after 24 years

KARACHI:The Christian community of Pakistan is set to get a second cardinal after 24 years as Pope Francis announced names of fourteen new cardinals, including Karachi’s Archbishop Joseph Coutts.

Archbishop Joseph Coutts is set to be appointed as a cardinal by Pope Francis on June 29. The announcement was made during Pentecost celebrations after the holy mass by the Vatican head.

The 73-year-old will be the second Pakistani archbishop to be honoured with the position after the death of cardinal Joseph Cordeiro in 1994.

For the last six years, Archbishop Coutts has been serving his community as Head Bishop at Saint Patrick’s Church in Karachi with focus on inter-faith harmony.

The Lahore-based archbishop previously served as a bishop in Faisalabad and Hyderabad.

During his 13 years as bishop in Faisalabad, Archbishop Coutts established a committee to solve the religious differences between Muslims, Christians and Hindus.

Archbishop Coutts while speaking to Geo News said, “As compared to Faisalabad, Karachi is a major metropolitan city and there more ethnicities and difficulties between religious sects here.”

“To bring peace in the city and among people we have to work on harmony and increase tolerance levels among every school of thought,” he added.

Pope Francis on Sunday announced that he would be holding a meeting of the Church’s top council to appoint 14 new cardinals next month, including from Iraq, Pakistan, Madagascar and Japan.

“I am happy to announce that on June 29 there will be a consistory meeting to appoint 14 new cardinals. Their origins reflect the universality of the church,” Pope Francis said in an address in Saint Peter’s square.