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Pakistan’s bishops meet with pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Archbishop Joseph Arshad of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, recounted that sitting in a small circle in the papal library with four other bishops from Pakistan and Pope Francis felt like having a family discussion.
The archbishop, president of the Pakistan Bishops’ Conference, along with with Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi; Bishop Samson Shukardin of Hyderabad; Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore; and Bishop Benny Mario Travas of Multan, met with the pope as part of their quinquennial ad limina visit to report the pope.
Speaking to Vatican News on March 15, Archbishop Arshad noted that the problems of Pakistan’s small Catholic community are serious, but that the worst of them, like discrimination or becoming victims of an abuse of the country’s anti-blasphemy laws, impact other groups as well—including members of the Muslim majority.
However, “the government is taking steps” to make it harder to abuse the law, he said.
Archbishop Arshad said, that Catholic leaders in the country are committed to dialogue with their Muslim counterparts.
He concluded saying, “If circumstances permit, we would like the Holy Father to come visit us because he loves us.” 

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