Joseph Coutts

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Joseph Cardinal Coutts
Cardinal, Archbishop of Karachi
Coutts holding a candle
Coutts in 2016.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Elected25 January 2012
PredecessorEvarist Pinto
Other postsCardinal-Priest of S. Bonaventura da Bagnoregio (2018–)[1]
Ordination9 January 1971
by Felicissimus Alphonse Raeymaeckers
Consecration16 September 1988[2]
by Bonaventure Patrick Paul
Created cardinal28 June 2018[3]
by Pope Francis
Personal details
Birth nameJoseph Coutts
Born (1945-07-21) 21 July 1945 (age 74)
Amritsar, British India
NationalityPakistan Pakistani
DenominationRoman Catholic
ParentsPedro Jose Couto
Previous post
Alma materSt. Anthony High School, Lahore
SignatureJoseph Cardinal Coutts's signature
Coat of armsJoseph Cardinal Coutts's coat of arms
Styles of
Joseph Coutts
Coat of arms of Joseph Coutts.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal
Ordination history of
Joseph Coutts
Priestly ordination
Ordained byFelicissimus Alphonse Raeymaeckers
Date09 January 1971
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorBishop Bonaventure Patrick Paul, O.F.M.
Co-consecratorsBishop Armando Trindade,
Archbishop Emanuele Gerada
Date16 September 1988
PlaceSacred Heart Cathedral, Lahore
Elevated byPope Francis
Date28 June 2018

Joseph Coutts (born 21 July 1945) is a Pakistani prelate of the Catholic Church, who has been Archbishop of Karachi since 2012. He was Bishop of Faisalabad from 1998 to 2012.

Pope Francis created Coutts a cardinal on 28 June 2018.


Coutts was born in Amritsar, British India on 21 July 1945.[4] He received his religious training at the Christ the King seminary in Karachi and was ordained a priest in Lahore, Pakistan, on 9 January 1971.[5]

After ordination, he completed ecclesiastical studies in Rome from 1973 to 1976 and then became professor of philosophy and sociology at Christ the King Regional Seminary, Karachi, rector of St. Mary's Minor Seminary, Lahore, and diocesan vicar general from 1986 to 1988.[5]

On 5 May 1988 he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Hyderabad in Pakistan by Pope John Paul II and consecrated a bishop on 16 September.[citation needed] He chose as his episcopal motto the word Harmony.[6] He became Bishop of Hyderabad on 1 September 1990.[4] On 27 June 1998 he was appointed Bishop of Faisalabad.

Coutts is the longtime Chairman of Caritas Pakistan and directed its earthquake relief efforts in 2005.[7]

In Faisalabad he developed ties with Muslim scholars and clerics.[5] The Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany, awarded Bishop Coutts the 2007 Shalom Prize for his commitment to interfaith dialogue in Pakistan. For 25 years, the award has been given to people and projects working for human rights.[8]

On 25 January 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Coutts as Archbishop of Karachi to succeed Archbishop Evarist Pinto.[9][10] Anticipating his return to the city where he had studied and taught, he stressed the challenges posed by the city’s refugee-driven population explosion and the "sporadic bursts of violence and terrorism" that had become a feature of life in Karachi.[5]

In both Faisalabad and Karachi, he has campaigned against Pakistan's blasphemy law, which he believes is too easily manipulated for personal attacks or to target religious minorities for insubstantial or pretended offenses.[11][12] In Karachi he has established multiple connections for inter-religious dialog between Muslims and Catholics, aiming at both acceptance by the general population and increased understanding on the part of political and religious leaders.[6]

Coutts was hospitalized with pneumonia and unable to travel to Rome to receive his pallium, the symbol of his status as a metropolitan archbishop, from Pope Benedict in June 2012.[7]

He was president of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops' Conference from 2011 to 2017.[4][13] Pope Francis created Coutts a cardinal priest in the consistory of 28 June 2018, assigning him the titular church of San Bonaventura da Bagnoregio.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c "Annuncio di Concistoro il 29 giugno per la creazione di nuovi Cardinali, 20.05.2018" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 20 May 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Khokhar, Shafique (27 January 2012). "Multiethnic Karachi, a challenge for Mgr Coutts in his new mission". AsiaNews. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  6. ^ a b Affatato, Paolo (22 May 2018). "Harmony bearer Joseph Coutts, new Cardinal in Pakistan". La Stampa. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  7. ^ a b O'Connell, Gerard (28 June 2012). "Coutts, the passionate advocate of peace and dialogue". La Stampa. Archived from the original on 27 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Bishop of Faisalabad awarded the Shalom Prize for 2007". AsiaNews. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 25.01.2012" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  10. ^ Speciale, Alessandro (25 January 2012). "Pope names new archbishop of Karachi". UCANews. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Pakistani Christians: Second-Class Citizens?". Zenit. 6 June 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Archbishop of Karachi: Blasphemy law causes problems for both Christians and Muslims". Rome Reports. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Archbishop of Karachi Joseph Coutts to be elevated as cardinal". Express Tribune. 20 May 2018.
  14. ^ D'Emilio, Frances (28 June 2018). "Pope, making new cardinals, hears Iraqi tell of martyrs". Fox News. Associated Press. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Concistoro Ordinario Pubblico: Assegnazione dei Titoli, 28.06.2018" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
Additional resources

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bonaventure Patrick Paul
Bishop of Hyderabad
1 September 1990 – 27 June 1998
Succeeded by
Max John Rodrigues
Preceded by
John Joseph
Bishop of Faisalabad
27 June 1998 – 25 January 2012
Succeeded by
Joseph Arshad
Preceded by
Evarist Pinto
Archbishop of Karachi
25 January 2012 – present
New title Cardinal-Priest of San Bonaventura da Bagnoregio
28 June 2018 – present