» 01/29/2013, 00.00
Borneo, theological institute for religious and laity, to promote Gospel proclamation
St. John of the Cross founded in Pontianak, with the motto "To love God and to make Him be loved." It is a sign of the richness of the local Church, where faith "bears fruit." Indonesian priest: the world needs Christian witness, where Jesus is "the center of life."
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A center
where people can learn to "love God and make Him be loved," as its motto
reads, a place to deepen formation in the Gospel and to fulfill the work of proclamation
which is the "duty of every Christian." In
this spirit the theological and philosophical Institute St. John of the Cross was
born in a district of Pontianak, the capital of the Indonesian province of
Kalimantan West, on the island of Borneo, which opened a few days ago. As Fr. Yohanes
Indrakusuma tells AsiaNews, the
center is dedicated to the Spanish religious and the poet of the sixteenth
century reformer of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, because he is "both
a theologian and Doctor of the Church."
On completion of construction,
the institute has taken shape and was inaugurated in an official capacity on 12
January by the Archbishop of Pontianak. The
directors of the project say that over time other structures will be added
including a spiritual and research center, dormitories and a convent for monks
and nuns. It
is a sign of the richness of the Indonesian Church, where faith "is
alive" and bears fruit "even in a largely Muslim nation."
in 1938 in a small town in East Java from a family of Chinese origin, Fr. Yohanes
Indrakusuma studied theology in Rome and Paris, after having been ordained a
priest in 1967. Active
in several areas of the archipelago, he is convinced that the Institute of
Theology will "exert a great influence" on the future of the Catholic
Church in Indonesia. The
goal is to "form people with a deep faith", where Jesus Christ, is "the
center of their lives, regardless of whether they are priests, religious or lay
people active in pastoral ministry".
The world needs Christian witness,
says Fr. Yohanes,
one that is able to remind everyone that "Christ is a living presence",
that touches both the laity, as well as priests and nuns. "We
realized - said the priest - that not only priests and religious need to become
men and women of God, but also all the laity who will be formed at the Theological
Institute of St. John of the Cross" so that they can become "truly
men and women of God who
live in the Holy Spirit "and to be" an instrument in His hands. "
In Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in
the world, Catholics are a small minority of about seven million people, 3% of
the total population. In
the Archdiocese of Jakarta, the faithful reach 3.6% of the population. The
constitution provides for freedom of religion, but the community is the victim
of acts of violence, discrimination and abuse, especially in areas where extremist
view of Islam is more entrenched, such as the Yasmin Church in Bogor (West
Java) or Hkbp Philadelphia in
in several areas Catholics remain an active part of society and contribute to
the development of the nation or the work of aid during emergencies (see
AsiaNews 18/01/2013 Jakarta,
Catholics aid flood victims) .
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West Borneo: bomb threats to a church, Catholics in the crosshairs of terrorists
In Pontianak an anonymous phone call, a woman's voice, warning of a bomb placed near the Stella Maris. The bomb squad detonates an object contained in the garbage. Priest asks for protection, but invites the faithful to remain calm. The area the scene of sectarian violence in the past.
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The persecution of Catholics during the Cultural Revolution
The documentation of that violent period was burned or buried in archives. Only a few survivors speak. The persecutors are silent in fear. The burning of religious objects and furnishings in Hebei. Bishops humiliated and arrested in Henan; nuns beaten with sticks and killed, or buried alive. A persecution that "is not over yet"; Today it is perhaps only more subtle.
Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West
The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".
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