November 2, 2001
Her Excellency Dr. Maleeha Lodhi
Ambassador of Pakistan
2315 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Dear Madame Ambassador,
I write to express the revulsion which we in the Catholic community in the United States feel over the tragic act of intolerance that took the lives of Christian worshipers at the Catholic church in Bahawalpur last Sunday, October 28th.
Your government had been strongly urged by the Catholic Bishops of Pakistan, among others, to take measures to protect religious minorities in your country who might be targeted by fanatical persons. Warnings had been given that Pakistani Christians could be attacked once the forces fighting global terrorism struck at the Taliban in Afghanistan. Tragically, that is just what happened.
I do not minimize the enormous difficulties facing your President and his government at this time, but I do trust now that genuinely effective measures will be taken to guarantee the security of all citizens, especially the vulnerable Christian minorities of Pakistan.
With best wishes and asking God to bless you, I am
Archbishop of Boston
Chairman, Committee on International Policy
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops