Rorate Caeli

Religion of peace update

From The Globe and Mail and several news sources, including Asia News:

Assailants purportedly sent by al-Qaeda and the Taliban killed the only Christian member of Pakistan's federal cabinet Wednesday, spraying his car with bullets outside his parents' driveway. It was the second assassination in two months of a high-profile opponent of blasphemy laws that impose the death penalty for insulting Islam.

The killing of Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic in his 40s, further undermines Pakistan's shaky image as a moderate Islamic state and could deepen the political turmoil in this nuclear-armed, U.S.-allied state where militants frequently stage suicide attacks.

In pamphlets found at the scene of the shooting, al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban said they targeted Mr. Bhatti because of his faith and because he allegedly belonged to a committee that was reviewing the blasphemy laws.
Let us pray for Catholics in Pakistan.


  1. Requiescant in pace.

    I don't see how it would not be appropriate to consider Shahbaz Bhatti a martyr - may he intercede for us in Heaven, especially the Catholics of Pakistan.

  2. Yes, we've got it in writing that he was killed out of hatred of the Faith.

  3. Anonymous3:28 PM

    I second Auricularis' comment.

    Today, I saw a video clip on Beelzebub's Broadcasting Corporation (the BBC) of Shahbaz Bhatti, made just 4 months ago, where he unreservedly and unabashedly declares his faith publicly in Jesus Christ and courageously declares a keen awareness that he might die for his faith, of which he states in the same clip, that he would rather die than hide his faith in Christ. He died for no other reason. The Lord Jesus Christ will be true to His promise "If you are not ashamed of me before men, neither will I be ashamed of you in Heaven".

    This is the true spirit of the holy Martyrs.

    I too am a man in my 40s. While I am in tears as I saw the images of his bullet-riddled car on the news this morning, I pray for the day I may join Shahbaz Bhatti, Martyr.

    May Our Lady of Fatima so grace me to die such an honorable and holy death, as unworthy of it as I am.

    On a final note - if any fathers of the Church, and particularly Vatican fathers, are reading this commentary, I was greatly enheartened to see that the Vatican has publicly condemned this "unspeakable act of violence".

    It must be so overwhelmingly clear by now that no Assisi gathering will ever change the hearts of murderous Mohammedans, but only evangelism and the preaching of Jesus Christ, Crucified who declared "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do".

    Shahbaz Bhatti, pray for us!

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


  4. michael3:34 PM

    I totally agree with the above comment ! The Holy Father should prospone the Beatification of Pope John Paul 11 and personally Canonised this Holy Martyr instead as an example to us all in the West and to PROTECT US from the rise of Radical Islam! O Holy Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti pray for and help us ALL!

  5. The video clip that Neophyte refers to maybe viewed here:

    Compare Shahbaz's words with the actions of John Paul II, when handed the Quran in Damascus in 1993. I think you'll fail to find the hermeneutic of continuity in that.

  6. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Also I should have stated previously also that the Holy Father should stop the deplorable Assisi anniversary event immediately!



  7. Fr. S.A.5:32 PM

    Let us pray to Our Lady that strength may be granted to the Catholics of Pakistan during this time of persecution. May they be strengthened by the graces of Holy Mass!

  8. New-Martyr Shabaz, pray to God for us.

  9. Anonymous8:16 PM

    May the good Lord have mercy on his soul, and may Our Blessed Mother give confort to his family.

    Psalm 130
    Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
    Let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
    If Thou, O Lord, shalt observe iniquities; Lord, who shall endure it?
    For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
    and by reason of Thy law, I have waited for Thee, O Lord.
    My soul hath relied on His word; my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
    From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
    Because with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him plentiful redemption.
    And He shall redeem Israel from all her iniquities.

    [In conclusion]
    Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord,
    and let perpetual light shine upon them.
    Let us pray.
    O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful,
    grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins,
    that through our pious supplication they may obtain that pardon
    which they have always desired;
    who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

  10. Just how foolish can the church be for "dialoguing" with such an obviously false religion.

  11. Mr. Howes, it's newcatholic A T gmail D O T com .

  12. Anonymous9:44 PM

    Lord, have mercy on his soul! Blessed Mother, intercede for this brave martyr as he stands before the judgment throne. That we would all be so brave and unfaltering under such harsh conditions.


  13. Hope Springs Eternal1:40 AM

    The soul of Shahbaz Bhatti will be remembered in prayer. May God grant him eternal rest.

  14. Dear Neophyte

    It is up to God to bring you and I to martyrdom. We don't pray for it since that may lead us to hubris.

  15. Loyolakiper3:17 PM

    Why is praying for martyrdom wrong? Many of the great saints prayed for such a death... Is this not what our reception of the sacrament of Confirmation prepare us for? The slap is the first of many of the hardships we will greatly experience for Christ's sake and in preparation of this, prayer would be the most prudent way to confont this possibility. May we all be so worthy to be found in conformity to the glorious nature of our Lord's death!

  16. Why is praying for martyrdom wrong?

    Because Christ came not that we might have death, but that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. We pray that, if it is God's will that we be persecuted and killed for the faith, we will have the grace and strength of conviction to endure it -- but we do not pray for martyrdom nor go out of our way to seek it, since we may not be able to hold fast when facing the prospect of death. Rather, Jesus told us that when we are persecuted in one city, we should flee to another.

    "Now one named Quintus, a Phrygian, who was but lately come from Phrygia, when he saw the wild beasts, became afraid. This was the man who forced himself and some others to come forward voluntarily. Him the proconsul, after many entreaties, persuaded to swear and to offer sacrifice. Wherefore, brethren, we do not commend those who give themselves up, seeing the Gospel does not teach so to do." (Martyrdom of St. Polycarp IV)

  17. Anonymous6:05 PM

    For the nitpickers who can't seem to let a Catholic grieve for a fallen martyr ...

    My prayer as written in my earlier post was:

    "I pray for the day I may join Shahbaz Bhatti, Martyr.

    May Our Lady of Fatima so grace me to die such an honorable and holy death, as unworthy of it as I am."

    I prayed for an honorable and holy death. I didn't pray for a sadomasochistic torture experience at death.

    May God bless you all.

    Meanwhile, let me grieve this holy martyr in peace.

    Sincerely, Neophyte

  18. Anonymous12:00 AM

    It is perfectly correct and holy to pray for martyrdom because, in some circumstances, this mya be the best way to defend the Faith and save others' souls, and the salvation of souls is the highest law. It is only wrong to do anything to bring martyrdom about. In fact, we are bound to flee martyrdom because life is a gift from God.

    Having said this, one should avoid pride in thinking oneself worthy to be put to the test. Some of us might ask for it and then find ourselves wanting, which would be a divine lesson in humility. Lastly, there should never be a morbid fascination with being martyred. If one wishes to pray for it, this needs to be done in peace of soul and without fixating on the potential pains.


  19. Hope Springs Eternal3:55 AM

    Granted, this was only a line from A Man For All Seasons, but I think the line by Thomas More is certainly thought provoking:

    "This is not the stuff
    of which martyrs are made."

    Mr. Bhatti didn't know for sure he would die a martyr, but he was prepared to die in this manner if he had to. I find comfort knowing there ARE still people willing and ready to die for the Faith.

    Mr. Bhatti's example shows us that the True Faith is NOT dead, but very much alive!!

    Can there be joy found in sorrow? I think so. Suffering can be sweet when the cross is accepted. Lent is around the corner and yet, hope springs eternal!

  20. Anonymous6:23 AM

    I agree entirely with Hope Springs Eternal,

    and from the barren rod of Aaron and the barren Cross and the Crown of Thorns, a garden of saints comes in Spring; and it is watered by the blood of the martryrs, mixed together with a more Precious Balm.


  21. It is perfectly correct and holy to pray for martyrdom because, in some circumstances, this may be the best way to defend the Faith and save others' souls, and the salvation of souls is the highest law. It is only wrong to do anything to bring martyrdom about. In fact, we are bound to flee martyrdom because life is a gift from God.

    It's one thing to pray that if it be God's will that one be martyred, one has the grace and virtue to achieve a holy martyrdom. It's another thing to pray that one be martyred, that is, in effect to pray that one or more persons commit an act of murder. There's no use in praying for that, because God will always answer, "No."


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