In another proud moment for Pakistan, Archbishop of Karachi Joseph Coutts has been appointed as Cardinal of Catholic Church by Pope Francis. Pope Francis recently announced alleviation of 14 churchmen with the rank of cardinal in Catholic Church.
Among these new nominations was Joseph Coutts as well, who replaced Evarist Pinto as archbishop of Karachi back in 2012. This makes Coutts the second Pakistani archbishop to be chosen for the prestigious position. Pakistan’s first ever Cardinal was Joseph Cordeiro, who died back in 1994.
Coutts himself is a man of merit and calibre. He holds a PhD degree and has dominance over several languages including English, French, German, Italian, Punjabi, Urdu and Sindhi – all of these he can speak fluently. He has served at the position of National Director of Caritas, Pakistan and was currently serving as the president of Pakistan Catholic Bishop conference. Previously, he also served as archbishop in Faisalabad and Hyderabad.
During his 13 years in Faisalabad, Coutts was quite prominent in propagating inter-faith harmony and peace between co-existing communities. He established a committee to solve disputes and differences between Hindus and Muslims.
While announcing the Cardinals, Pope said that his representation speaks for diverse communities and nationalities. He said that the new appointees ‘’express the universality of the church while continues to proclaim the merciful love of God to all the people of the earth’’.
11 out of the 14 selected cardinals are under the age of 80 – the age limit to elect the new pope. This implies these 11 will set the foundation of the Sacred College that will elect new pope once Pope Francis retires. Pope Francis announced that he will be having a meeting of church’s top council to appoint the new cardinals next month. The selected cardinals – that belong to Pakistan, Iraq, Japan and Madagascar- will be officially appointed at consistory ceremony on 29th June.
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