18 Notes & Comments

posted Nov 28, 2018, 6:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 28, 2018, 6:03 AM ]

Cardinal Bo to be new FABC President

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Indian Bishops' Conference (CBCI), welcomed the election of Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar), as his successor at the helm of Asia's Catholic bishops.

"We are pleased with the election of Cardinal Bo who takes over as the next FABC President," Cardinal Gracias told AsiaNews. "His Eminence will take forward the FABC with creative mission."

FABC Acting Assistant Secretary General Fr William LaRousse announced Card Bo's appointment, noting that Myanmar's first cardinal will take over as of January 1, 2019 at the end of the mandate of the Indian cardinal (who was in office for two consecutive terms). He said that the election took place on November 16, in Bangkok (Thailand), during a meeting of the FABC Central Committee.

Cardinal Gracias also announced a "plenary Asian Council of Bishops to discuss different matters about the possibilities of us being at the service of the country, at the service of the people and at the service of the Church in Asia."

According to Cardinal Gracias, "Cardinal Bo is the right person to lead us as we are preparing for this big plenary Council in 2020."


Asia Bibi protest leader arrested in Pakistan


Pakistan has launched a crackdown on a religious group that paralysed the country for three days after the acquittal of Catholic death row inmate Asia Bibi.

Bibi, a mother of five who had been held in solitary confinement on death row since 2010, had her blasphemy conviction overturned by the Supreme Court on Oct. 30.

The court's ruling sparked three days of violent protests led by Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the firebrand cleric and chief of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a politico-religious group known for its staunch support of draconian blasphemy laws.

The protests prompted the government to sign a controversial deal that drew condemnation from minority and human rights groups.

The Christian woman was eventually released on Nov. 8 in Multan, and flown to Islamabad. Her whereabouts have been kept secret, due to threats to her life and her family.

On Nov. 23, police, rangers and other law enforcement agencies detained Rizvi and hundreds of his followers in an undeclared crackdown against the group. The move sparked clashes between Rizvi's supporters and police in Lahore, in which at least five people were injured.