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English bishop expresses ‘deep sadness’ at murder of Shahbaz Bhatti

Bishop Declan Lang (Mazur/

Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton has expressed his “deep sadness” at the murder of Pakistan’s minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti.

Writing to Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, Bishop Lang, chairman of the bishops’ international affairs department, said: “Minister Bhatti’s life was marked by a courageous commitment to working for the poorest and most vulnerable of Pakistan’s people. His deep faith and determination in the face of violence will remain as an example for all of us.”

Bishop Lang said the assassination “will be felt deeply not only by his family but also by the entire Christian community as well as people of goodwill from all faiths”.

Representing the bishops of England and Wales, Bishop Lang assured Archbishop Saldanha “that the Catholic community in our country is united with you and the Christians of Pakistan in prayer and solidarity”.