NUNCIO ORDAINS NEW BISHOP BEFORE ARRIVAL OF COURT STAY ON ORDINATION

Pakistan
2000-02-28 00:00:00

A civil court issued a stay order on the ordination of Bishop-elect Andrew Francis of Multan, but the bishop-elect was ordained before the court order arrived.

On Feb. 26 Archbishop Alessandro D´Errico, apostolic nuncio to Pakistan, and Bishop Anthony Lobo of Islamabad-Rawalpindi presided the ordination of Bishop Francis at a private chapel of the Lahore archbishop´s house -- skirting a court order that arrived only after the ordination had already taken place.

An interim order to halt the ordination was earlier reported by the "Daily Dawn." According to the report, the order was issued based on a petition filed by David Irfan, president of the Christian Journalists Forum of Pakistan, for the bishop-elect´s alleged involvement in "cases of moral turpitude."

Tension and confusion turned to jubilation on the morning of the ordination when Bishop Francis, already wearing his miter and holding his staff, joined in the procession at the scheduled venue of the ordination.

About 5,000 people, who were singing hymns while waiting pensively, burst into applause upon seeing the new bishop.

Insofar as the ordination had taken place already, Mass was celebrated.

A huge choir consisting of children from various parishes of the city of Lahore led the singing. Offerings from all the provinces in Pakistan were received by the new bishop at the Offertory. More than 100 priests and 500 nuns attended the Mass.

The nuncio in his message announced that Father Evarist Pinto, a member of the former Theological Advisory Commission of the Federation of Asian Bishops´ Conferences was nominated Auxiliary Bishop of Karachi.

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