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New administrator for Pakistan diocese 'will face challenges'

Pope names Bishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad as the new apostolic administrator for Islamabad-Rawalpindi

Published: November 14, 2016 08:59 AM GMT

Updated: November 14, 2016 09:01 AM GMT

New administrator for Pakistan diocese 'will face challenges'

Senior priests in Pakistan have welcomed Bishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad as the new apostolic administrator of Islamabad-Rawalpindi Diocese but say it wont be an easy task.

Pope Francis, on Nov. 12 appointed Bishop Arshad to Islamabad-Rawalpindi, the diocese bordering Afghanistan, which was rendered vacant with the death of Bishop Rufin Anthony on Oct. 17.

Father Emmanuel Yousaf Mani national director of the Pakistani Catholic bishops' National Commission for Justice and Peace welcomed the move with some reservations.

"The short term adjustment will be difficult. I have been administrator of Lahore Archdiocese for two years and know the challenges he can face managing two different dioceses, [one of them plagued by the Taliban]," said Father Mani.

"Still I pray he fulfills his new responsibility with God's blessings."

According to Father Bonnie Mendes, Executive Secretary of the Office for Human Development of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, dual roles in the church hierarchy are always difficult.

"By coincidence, his predecessor faced the same challenges. Lets see how this move turns out this time," said Father Mendes.

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