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Pakistani Catholic welcomes Pope’s tribute to Bhatti as crisis deepens

Catholic World News - January 12, 2012

Peter Jacob, director of the Pakistani bishops’ justice and peace commission, has welcomed Pope Benedict’s tribute to Shabaz Bhatti in his recent address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.

Bhatti, Pakistan’s federal minister for minorities and the nation’s most prominent Catholic layman, was assassinated March 2 for his opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which has been used repeatedly to persecute Christians in the Islamic republic.

On January 9, “a very senior lawyer of the Supreme Court was murdered in Lahore, Nasrullah Waraich,” said Jacob. “People know that the crisis is deepening … Moreover, the crisis is changing focus, shifting from ethnic strife to sectarian killing. There is a crisis of governance and law enforcement especially a judicial crisis also which has political underpinnings.”

“Let me welcome the speech and the mention of Shabaz Bhatti by the Holy Father”, he added. “Most people, especially the Christians in Pakistan, they will appreciate keeping not only the reference but the memory of this great leader alive.”

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