Joseph Arshad

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His Grace
Joseph Arshad
Bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi
Joseph Arshad.jpg
Bishop Joseph Arshad
Church Roman Catholic
See Roman Catholic Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi
In office 2013–
Predecessor Joseph Coutts
Ordination November 1, 1991
Consecration November 1, 2013[1]
by Fernando Cardinal Filoni
Rank Bishop
Personal details
Born (1964-08-25) August 25, 1964 (age 53)
Lahore, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Previous post Bishop of the Faisalabad Diocese

Joseph Arshad (born August 25, 1964) is the Roman Catholic Bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi in Pakistan.


Arshad was born on August 25, 1964 in Lahore. After completing school, he began his priestly education at St. Mary's Minor Seminary, Lahore. He continued his studies at Christ the King Seminary in Karachi. After his ordination on November 1, 1991, he was appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Joseph's Church and also given charge of St. Peter's School in Gujranwala. For a while he also studied journalism.[2]

In 1995, he went to Rome for Canon Law studies at the Pontifical Urban University and then underwent training as a Vatican diplomat at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.

His doctoral Dissertation “The responsibility of a diocesan bishop in defending the unity of the universal Church according to c. 392” was published by the Urbaniana University Press in 1999.[3]

He was the first Pakistani priest to join the Vatican diplomatic service.[4] From 1999 to 2002 he served at the Apostolic Nunciature in Malta. From then until 2010, he served at the Apostolic Nunciatures in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Madagascar.

As of July 2013 he was a councillor at the Apostolic Nunciature in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Pope Francis on July 3, 2013 appointed Fr. Arshad as the bishop of the Faisalabad Diocese. The Diocese has an area of 35,300sqm and a population of 38,265,000, of whom 150,000 are Catholics with 42 priests.[5]

After being ordained as bishop of Faisalabad on November 1, Bishop Joseph Arshad celebrated his first mass in St. Joseph's Church, Lahore on 3 November 2013. He completed his schooling from St Joseph’s High School in the Parish.[6]

Bishop Arshad, head of the Commission for Social Communications, attended the 15th Conference of Radio Veritas Asia listeners held on 21 September 2015 at Loyola Hall in Lahore. He invited the participants to build peace, tolerance and brotherhood in society via the radio.[7]

On 12 November 2016, Arshad was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, which was vacant since the death of Bishop Rufin Anthony, who died on October, 17, 2016.[8]

On December 10, 2016, he received the National Human Rights Award 2016 from Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain for human rights advocacy. Arshad is also the chair of the Catholic Bishop’s National Commission for Justice and Peace.[9]

On 10 November 2017 he became president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Pakistan.[10]

On 8 December 2017 Pope Francis transferred Arshad as the Bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi Diocese in Pakistan. He also conferred on him the “personal title” of Archbishop.[11]