05 March 2011

Funeral of Shahbaz Bhatti

http://www.asianews.it/, a service of the Milan-based PIME, a society of apostolic life like the Columbans and who work in the Philippines, carries a report by Jibran Khan, dated 4 March, on the funeral (photo above) of the assassinated Shahbaz Bhatti: Bhatti funeral: Christians angry when worshippers and relatives denied access to church.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – “You have killed my brother, now you are stopping me from seeing his body [. . .]. You cannot protect the minorities,” said an angry and pained Anila Bhatti, when security forces prevented her from entering the church for her brother Shahbaz’s funeral. The service began at 11.40 am in Our Lady of Fatima Church in Islamabad. Right after Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani entered the building, security forces closed the doors and did not let anyone in or out. A security perimeter was thrown up around the church, blocking access to the building. Christians who wanted to say goodbye one last time to the Catholic minister reacted by protesting. In the meantime, thousands of people travelled to Khushpur, the village in Punjab where Bhatti was buried this afternoon next to his father’s grave before a crowd of some 10,000 people.

This morning, Mgr Rufin Anthony, bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, and Mgr Edgar Peña Parra, apostolic nuncio to Pakistan, celebrated the funeral of the slain Catholic minister. During his homily, the bishop of the Pakistani capital, described Bhatti, who was killed by a group of gunmen on Wednesday, as a “son”, someone he saw “growing up”. The prelate remembered how “, since his childhood he use to stand for the children who couldn`t speak for themselves or were bullied. [. . .] He regularly visited me for Bible studies. At a very young age, he dedicated his life to Jesus Christ.”

Full report here. There are links also to related stories there.

1 comment:

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Thanks for this Fr Sean..love the new look blog!