Prelate calls for Jones' arrest over Quran burning

Afghans shout anti-American slogans during a protest in Mazar-e-Sharif April 1. Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets after Friday prayers to protest the burning of the Quran by a U.S. pastor. Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, Pakistan, condemned the desecration of the Quran.

CNS PHOTO | OMAR SOBHANI, REUTERS

Afghans shout anti-American slogans during a protest in Mazar-e-Sharif April 1. Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets after Friday prayers to protest the burning of the Quran by a U.S. pastor. Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, Pakistan, condemned the desecration of the Quran.

April 18, 2011

The president of the Pakistani bishops' conference has called for the arrest of a U.S. Protestant pastor whose decision to burn the Islamic sacred book has caused fury in the Muslim world and the deaths of more than 20 people.

Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, conference president, said the U.S. government should seek to diffuse mounting tensions by detaining the Rev. Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center Church in Gainesville, Fla., who oversaw the burning of the Quran by the Rev. Wayne Sapp, his assistant.

In an April 6 statement, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami joined the Pakistani archbishop, religious leaders around the world and other Church leaders in Florida and elsewhere in the United States in deploring the book burning, calling it "reprehensible."

Saldanha told the British branch of Aid to the Church in Need that "the U.S. government should detain the pastor for some time."

He said in an April 4 telephone interview: "In view of the effects his actions have had all over the world, he should be controlled and understand the harm that has been done."

He added that although there had been no reports of attacks on Pakistani Christians by Muslims outraged by the Quran burning, he feared that the situation "could become ugly."

Jones authorized a copy of the Quran to be soaked in gasoline and burned March 20.