Pakistan stands the chance of having the Holy Father, Pope Francis stepping foot on her for his apostolic trip in response to the her government’s invitation. But this have caused a lot of concern and disturbance to all who have heard of the visit given the country’s war inclined state. The last Papal visit by St. Pope John Paul II was welcomed with the blast of a small bomb before the Pope John Paul II arrived the Pakistan National Stadium in Karachi in 1981.
Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) news agency reported that two Pakistan ministers, Kamran Michael, a Catholic, and Sardar Muhammad Yousaf, the minister for religious affairs, visited the Holy Father, Pope Francis on March 2 in Vatican City to extend the invitation from the Pakistan government.
Pope Francis was filled with joy and expressed gratitude for the honor, but it is not yet official as to whether the Holy Father would accept or turn down the invitation to visit Pakistan.
However, Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi told the National Catholic Register that there is “currently no travel programme to Pakistan being studied”.
“The minority Christians will be definitely encouraged,”
“However, the security of the Holy Father will be the sole responsibility of the government.”Bishop Rufin Anthony of Islamabad-Rawalpindi told ucanews.com.
“This is totally unexpected. Our joy know no bounds ever since we heard about it.
“The Pope might tie up his visit with his tour to India slated for 2017. However, this is a big risk for the government as things are different than they were when Pope John Paul II had visited Karachi in 1981,” says Fr Saleh Diego, director of the bishops’ National Commission for Justice and Peace in Karachi archdiocese.