Mgr Rufin Anthony, bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, died yesterday of a heart attack. Known for his mystical lifestyle, the prelate, 76, was nicknamed "Sufi".
Mgr Anthony was found at his home in Rawalpindi. Fr William Nasir,
director of Diocesan Commission of Social Communications, told AsiaNews that some priests, alarmed by the bishop’s absence, broke down the door and found him dead.
The bishop, Fr Williams explained, had just returned from a number of
pastoral visits in the north of the diocese (north-eastern Pakistan)
related to Marian pilgrimages.
“Mgr Anthony never sought a VIP treatment and never failed to recite
the rosary,” the clergyman added. “He had a simple phone and an old
computer. 'I cannot afford WIFI, he once told me. He was opposed to
using a single penny of Church funds for personal use. It's hard to find
such genuine priests.”
The bishop “always lived by his motto of 'uniting all'. Thanks to him
there are no more lobbies or distinct groups of priests in our
Born in Khushpur, the largest Catholic village in Pakistan, Mgr
Anthony was ordained priest in 1969. He served as spiritual director at
St Pius X seminary in Quetta and as a professor at the Major Seminary of
Christ the King in Karachi.
He later served as national director of the Pontifical Mission
Societies, rector of the minor seminary of St Thomas the Apostle in
Faisalabad and than as rector of the major seminary in Karachi.
He was ordained bishop on 21 September 2009 in Rawalpindi. On 17
March 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him apostolic administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis for the diocese of Faisalabad.
Funeral services are scheduled for tomorrow at 10 am at St Joseph
Cathedral in Rawalpindi, in the presence of Archbishop Ghaleb Moussa
Bader, apostolic nuncio in Pakistan, and four bishops.