Down to the Wire: Just $7,553 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Pakistani Christians honor bishop who committed suicide to protest blasphemy laws

Catholic World News - May 10, 2012

Christians in Faisalabad, Pakistan, gathered at the city’s cathedral for a memorial Mass honoring Bishop John Joseph, who took his own life in 1998 in a protest against the country’s blasphemy laws.

More than 600 people gathered to honor the “martyr bishop,” with Father Khalid Rashid Asi, the vicar general of the Faisalabad, presiding at the memorial Mass.

Bishop Joseph’s case is problematical because he committed suicide. In his effort to call attention the suffering of Christians who are targeted for blasphemy prosecution, the bishop shot himself in the courtroom where a Christian man had recently been convicted and sentenced to death on questionable charges. Friends of the bishop say that he was suffering from depression at the time of his death.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($58,297 to go):
$150,000.00 $91,703.12
39% 61%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: mateskub8508 - May. 10, 2012 11:12 PM ET USA

    True he is not a martyr. Even though a man had just been sentenced to death and he himself was depressed; they should pray for him, rather than honor him... I hope when I die someone will pray for me (I can profit from that) instead of honoring me (I can't profit from that).

  • Posted by: ColmCille - May. 10, 2012 6:40 PM ET USA

    A bishop commits an objective mortal sin and is called a martyr? I pray there are circumstances which reduce or eliminate his culpability, but he is not a martyr. I hope that error will be corrected. It's yet another sign of the sad ignorance into which many Catholics have fallen. Catholics once thought that suicide was an automatic ticket to hell (which it is, IF done w/ full knowledge and choice); even the worst Catholics wouldn't do it. Now, "suicide for Christ" is martyrdom? God have mercy!

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Getting Marriage Right 18 hours ago
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. 21 hours ago
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg 24 hours ago
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said November 25
Public perception demands a way of mercy November 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25