Have you forsaken your flock, Archbishop? Jared Pereira | January 30, 2013 http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/01/30/have-you-forsaken-your-flock-archbishop/ PETALING JAYA: The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Murphy Pakiam, has received a barrage of criticisms from Catholics for keeping mum on Perkasa’s call to Muslims to seize and burn Bibles. Pakiam has yet to make a statement regarding Ibrahim Ali’s call to burn Bibles which contained the term “Allah” and other religious Arabic terms, leading some from his flock to label him as a weak leader. Ibrahim has come under relentless attack from all quarters since he made the call two weeks ago and many have asked why the police and Attorney-General have not arrested him for making seditious remarks. Both Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing, the head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese, and Bishop Sebastian Francis, Penang’s Catholic leader, have spoken out against Ibrahim and made a stand for Christians, a quality Pakiam seems incapable of. Tan was quoted as saying in media reports that Ibrahim’s comments were an “incendiary statement that far exceeds the bounds of civil discourse in Malaysia. Bishop Francis on the other hand called for the country to emulate the example set by Nik Aziz, Kelantan’s chief minister and not the provocative sentiments of Ibrahim. “He [Murphy Pakiam] should stand his ground and stand in the name of God without fear or favour. As a Catholic, I’m disappointed in him,” said Jane Thomas, a Malaysian Catholic who currently resides in the United States.. “His predecessors were noble Archbishops who took their roles seriously. What kind of “shepherd” is he if he can’t stand up for Catholics?” asked Jane. ‘Catholics still waiting’ This is not the first time Pakiam has come under fire. He came under attack for accompanying Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on the federal government’s official visit to the Vatican to meet Pope Benedict XVI in 2011. “As a Roman Catholic, I feel hurt with the senior cleric’s move to jump on the same bandwagon as the prime minister,” said Joshua Lopez in a blog. John Pereira, a concerned Catholic, also voiced his dissatisfaction over Pakiam’s apparent inability to lead. “We are as of today still awaiting for him to speak in his capacity as the leader of the KL Archdiocese…and this is not the first occasion. He has kept silent on many issues concerning the church,” he said. Pereira also added that he is surprised that Pakiam has not even commented in the Herald, a Catholic weekly newspaper which is owned by the Archdiocese. He opined that if the Archbishop continues with his discreet ways, he will lose the confidence of all Catholics who will doubt his ability to lead the community. Pereira further rebutted claims by another Catholic who said that the Archbishop is silent because he is letting the church’s lawyers investigate the matter. “So what if the lawyers are investigating? It’s not against any law for him to come out and make a statement against Ibrahim and more importantly let Catholics know that he will stand ready to defend their rights,” he said. Pakiam could not be contacted for comment despite numerous attempts.