BY Ian Dunn | March 2 | comments icon 6 COMMENTS     print icon print

3 shahbaz-bhatti

Vatican condemns killing of leading Pakistani Catholic

The Vatican has strongly condemned the killing of the only Christian member of Pakistan’s federal cabinet, saying his death today shows that Pope Benedict XVI’s warnings about the danger to Christians in the region were fully justified.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said that the slaying was an act of ‘terrible gravity.’

Shahbaz Bhatti, (above)  the minister for religious minorities in Pakistan, a Catholic, was shot dead by gunmen as he left his parent’s house in Islamabad yesterday. In pamphlets found at the scene of the shooting, Al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban said they targeted Mr Bhatti because of his Faith and because he allegedly belonged to a committee that was reviewing the blasphemy laws which carry the death penalty for insulting Islam.

Fr Lombardi noted that the slain government minister was a Catholic who had met with Pope Benedict XVI in September and stated his commitment to peaceful relations among the religious communities in mainly Muslim Pakistan. Fr Lombardi also expressed the urgent need to defend religious freedom and protect Christians from ‘violence and prosecution.’

A spokesman for the Pakistan President, Asif Ali Zardari, also condemned the shooting.

“This is a concerted campaign to slaughter every liberal, progressive and humanist voice in Pakistan,” he said. “The time has come for the federal government and provincial governments to speak out and to take a strong stand against these murderers to save the very essence of Pakistan.”

In January, Punjab province governor Salman Taseer was killed by a bodyguard after the politician opposed the blasphemy laws.

Comments - 6 Responses

  1. Philip M.McGhee says:

    Incidents such as this, the September 11 attacks and the murders in Alexandria and Baghdad,only place a further burden on Islam in presenting itself as a religion of peace and tolerance. It makes many people leery of any dealings with Muslims. I am sure SCO readers do not need to be reminded of Lockerbie.

    • Steve Sanborn says:

      I think the entire world needs to be reminded of Lockerbie!!! We in the USA were stunned when the liberal lunatics let that killer go home !!! Are we Christians insane?? Islam is a diabolic cult of death. Within 50 years, Europe will be an Islamic continent.

  2. Max says:

    Pakistan, so called a democratic country, is sinking into a sea of violence, intolerance and extremism. Political cowardice reigns supreme, and so Pakistanis fall under the thrall of extremists. Never mind what Zadari says, he and his government are ineffective. The country is run by the Mullahs in tandem with the army and the security forces. The only way to change the mindset, is to make the army and ISI accountable to the government in Islamabad. Can it be done? I fear it is too late now. The poor liberals in Pakistan-and there are many-are being held hostage to this unholy alliance.

  3. Amene says:

    Those who live in darkness suffer from light.Christ and his true followers are the light of the world. The murderers are are those who can’t resist the shining truth before them.They prefer to put off the light and hide themselves in darkness.Fundamentalists can’t pray saying “Make me the instrument of peace,love,hope,…” here lies the uniqueness of Christians. Thanks to God that the way of the Christians is not the way of the Muslim fundamentalists.

  4. Steve Sanborn says:

    We have become weak and the Muslims know it. If this man was a Jew , Israel would demand arrests. What do we get from the Vatican? Words… When will Europe and the USA wake up? Read the Koran [wake up] and stop this liberal lovey dovey [nonsense].

  5. Paul says:

    Islam is a terror cult masquerading as a religion.

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