Pakistan's Christians welcome appointment of cardinal

Cardinals arrive to attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis with the imposition of the pallium upon the new Metropolitan Archbishops, a woolen shawl symbolizing their bond to the pope, during the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Friday, June 29, 2018. Pope Francis made 14 new cardinals on Thursday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pakistan's Christians have welcomed the elevation of Archbishop Joseph Coutts to cardinal

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's Christians have welcomed the elevation of Archbishop Joseph Coutts to cardinal.

Coutts, the 73-year-old archbishop of Karachi, was among 14 new cardinals appointed by Pope Francis at a ceremony on Thursday. He is only the second cardinal from Muslim-majority Pakistan, after Cardinal Joseph Cordero, who died in 1994.

Christians are a tiny minority in Pakistan, where they face discrimination and where they have been targeted by Islamic extremists.

Father Mario Rodrigues, a Christian community leader, says the appointment of Coutts is an honor for the nation and recognizes his promotion of inter-faith harmony. Father Amanat Yousuf says Coutts will be a bridge between Pakistan and the international community

Coutts would be eligible to vote in a conclave to select a new pope.

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