Islamabad Politics Report/Moazzam Raza Tabassam: In an impressive ceremony held at the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis elevated 14 Archbishops to the rank of Cardinal on 28 June 2018.
Among them is Archbishop Joseph Coutts of the Catholic Church of Karachi. He is the second Pakistani accorded this honour after Cardinal Joseph Cordeiro, who was appointed in 1973.
In the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, Cardinals come immediately after the Pope. One of the primary responsibilities of the Cardinals is to elect a new Pope when the position becomes vacant.
The appointment of Archbishop Joseph Coutts is an honour for the entire nation.
Pope Francis is held in high esteem in Pakistan. Pakistan is committed to cordial relations with the Holy See.
Mr. Muhammad Yusuf Shaikh, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs led the Pakistan delegation to the Ceremony. Ministerial participation underscores the importance Pakistan attaches to the elevation of Archbishop Joseph Coutts to a Cardinal.
It also recognizes his contribution and services to the Catholic Church and promotion of inter-faith harmony in the country.