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New archbishop of Karachi sets out priorities

Bishop Trevas to focus on communion, helping youth, building a priestly fraternity and providing education for the poor

New archbishop of Karachi sets out priorities

Bishop Benny Travas (second from right) and Caritas Pakistan Multan members distribute food and hygiene packs among 42 families in Multan on Dec. 22, 2020. (Photo: Caritas Pakistan)

The newly appointed archbishop of Karachi has outlined his key priorities for Pakistan’s largest archdiocese.

Bishop Benny Mario Trevas of Multan was appointed by Pope Francis on Feb. 11 after Cardinal Joseph Coutts stepped down on reaching the canonical retirement age of 75 in July 2020.

In his first comments after the announcement of his appointment, he said he has chosen “Communion” as his motto, which is deep in its meaning in the context of unity in diversity, communion within the clergy, communion within parishes, communion among Protestant brethren and communion with all people living in Pakistan.

As chairman of Caritas Pakistan, the new archbishop supported youth in Multan Diocese to prepare for exams to secure top government jobs.

“This has been a good experience which has produced desired results. We hope to replicate it in Karachi so that the youth here can benefit from it,” 54-year-old Bishop Trevas said.

The new leader of Karachi’s Catholic community also aims to build a priestly fraternity and provide quality education to the poor.

“Karachi is close to my heart since I grew up here and served for 24 years as a priest,” he said.

“I am ready to work harder as there are many expectations from my family and friends. All will be done with the blessings of the Lord and the prayers of the faithful.”

Sabir Michael, a human rights activist and professor at the University of Karachi, welcomed the decision of Pope Francis over the new archbishop for Karachi.

“I am hopeful that Bishop Trevas will promote the diocese and laity in spiritual, cultural and social development,” he said.

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“The archbishop-elect has vast experience in Caritas in development projects and is a very prominent canonist. We do hope that he will lead the diocese in a prominent way on the journey left by Cardinal Coutts. We wish him good luck and pray for our new shepherd for the betterment of the diocese and the faithful.”

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