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    » 04/04/2005, 00.00


    Indonesia remembers the Pope of dialogue and tolerance

    Mathias Hariyadi

    He never ceased praying for us after the tsunami tragedy, says the Archbishop of Jakarta.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, will remember Pope John Paul II as a "missionary" who preached peace, dialogue and tolerance.

    Card Julius Darmaatmadja, Archbishop of Jakarta and chairman of the Conference of Bishops' of Indonesia (KWI), celebrated last night a mass for the Pontiff's soul in Jakarta's cathedral before leaving for Rome to participate in the next conclave.

    Speaking about the Pope's special relationship to Indonesia during the religious service, the Cardinal recalled the Pope's love "not only for Catholics but also for the faithful of other religions".

    He told the congregation not be sad. "He was a man of mission who cared about Indonesia and never ceased praying for us, in particular after the tsunami that devastated Aceh and Nias," the Cardinal said.

    Thousands attended yesterday's function; hundreds sitting in the streets around the jam-packed cathedral, many coming from neighbouring parishes outside of Jakarta like Bekasi, Bogor, Tangerang and Banten.

    A profusion of comments and memories have come out of Indonesia in the wake of the death of Pope John Paul II.

    Father Ismartono, director of the KWI's Crisis Centre, said that the Indonesian Church will remember the Holy Father as "the Church's friendly face, someone who cherished the values of dialogue, peace and tolerance."

    Indonesian President Susilo Bambang shares that opinion. "The Pontiff," he said, "was on the forefront of the struggle on behalf of the poor" and committed to "the promotion of tolerance and inter-faith dialogue".

    Many Indonesian Catholics remember the Pope most fondly when, in 1989, he addressed a crowd of 130,000 people in Jakarta's National Stadium in Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)

    A woman who attended the mass at the Senayan sport stadium recalls how John Paul II exuded energy. "His face and his movements expressed the love for Christ," she said.



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    See also

    In the world's most populous Muslim country the Pope called for full religious freedom

    In a Jakarta Stadium crowded for mass the Pontiff spoke in the national language, Bahasa Indonesia.

    05/04/2005 INDONESIA - VATICAN
    John Paul II, a preacher of peace, says Wahid
    Ex Indonesian President writes an open letter to honour the late Pontiff. All major political and religious leaders express their condolences.

    First Pope to visit mosque in 2001

    05/04/2005 PAKISTAN – VATICAN
    The pope, an unforgettable personality for Christians and Muslims in Pakistan
    Muslim leaders remember his indelible contribution to humanity. For Bishop Coutts, the Pope's death is a great loss for the Church and the world.

    05/04/2005 THAILAND - VATICAN
    The Pope, an inspiration to perfection, says Buddhist monk

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