Pakistani Christians have expressed annoyance over social media post dishonoring Pontiff, priests and the crucifix. The post shows face of Pakistani Premier superimposed on body of Pope Francis, likewise faces of Pakistani ministers superimposed on bodies of priests.
This photo went viral on social media after the acquittal of Asia Bibi, as the caption read: Go my child, my daughter Asia go, away from this cruel society. Go to a place where you can live in peace. You have my prayers with you, I will take care of everything here. The mocking caption was directed towards PM Imran Khan’s stance on Asia Bibi’s acquittal and release.
The photo generated annoyance among Pakistani Christians who claimed that Asia Bibi’s acquittal was based upon Supreme Court’s examination of the evidences. Pope Francis has no role in Supreme Court’s verdict. Father Bonnie Mendes, a priest from Faisalabad told Fides: “In Asia Bibi’s case it was not easy to issue an honest and independent verdict, in the Pakistan context, where people are not ready to face the truth. The Supreme Court examined the case and issued an unexceptionable verdict.
We must congratulate the judges for their courage in telling the truth. In this case it was the Supreme Court that released Asia Bibi; Pope Francis only prayed for her and for all the innocent victims, persecuted for their faith.”
A Pakistani Christian activist Sabir Michael reported to Fides: “It is sad and paradoxical that, precisely in a case of alleged blasphemy, one does not avoid hurting the feelings of Christians living in Pakistan. It is blasphemous to dishonor our religious leader Pope Francis, the crucifix and the sacred garments used by our priests during mass”.
“Those who think that the action of the Church led to the absolution of Asia Bibi are totally off-track: to understand the reasons they should read the sentence of fifty-six pages issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan”.
Rector of the Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Karachi, Father Mario Rodrigues told Fides: “Pope Francis showed great interest in Asia Bibi’s case, in a prison as innocent, praying for her. Christians all over the world also fasted and prayed for Asia Bibi’s release, but the final decision is of the Supreme Court”.