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» 02/21/2013
INDONESIA - VATICAN
Conclave, Cardinal Darmaatmadja renounces for "health reasons"
by Mathias Hariyadi
The 78 year-old Archbishop Emeritus of Jakarta will not be present due to serious problems with his “eyesight”. He confirms to AsiaNews the "progressive deterioration" of his vision and his needing assistance to read texts and documents. The cardinal close in spirit and in prayer to Pope Benedict XVI, whose decision he understands "perfectly".

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - There will be 116 and not 117 cardinal electors, as first expected from the official list of those who will choose the future Pope, after Benedict XVI steps down at 8 pm on 28 February next. The 78 year-old Indonesian Cardinal Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, Archbishop Emeritus of Jakarta, has told AsiaNews that he will not be present - by "free and personal" choice - because of severe health problems. Speaking over the phone from the Jesuit Emmaus House, a retirement home for elderly priests and prelates in Ungaran city, central Java, the prelate emphasizes the "progressive deterioration" of his condition, since he left the archdiocese in the capital two years ago, on having reached retirement age.

"It s mostly my eyesight," he says quietly, but firmly, pointing out that the problem would impose a "serious obstacle" to work within the Conclave, where assistants are not allowed during the election. The inability to read texts and documents is also an obstacle too such a great task which requires serenity and autonomy.

"I am convinced - Cardinal Darmaatmadja tells AsiaNews - that I am no longer suitable and proper to sit with other cardinals to vote for the new pope. So I have decided not to go to Rome for that kind of important event in the history of the church." He also adds that he "fully understands" Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign for health reasons. "I experienced this first hand - he says- when I was Archbishop of Jakarta and I decided to resign when I reached 75." Because to be bishop of a metropolitan city one must "be in good physical health."

In conclusion, the cardinal confesses his "deep sorrow" in not being able to go to Rome and attend the conclave, but believes it to be the right decision so as not to "break protocol" and hamper the work of the Cardinals.


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See also
04/15/2005 VATICAN – CONCLAVE – INDONESIA
Darmaatmadja, a moderate voice in the dialogue with Islam
04/15/2005 VATICAN - CONCLAVE
Where are the cardinals from?
04/18/2005 VATICAN-CONCLAVE
Cardinals in conclave as doors to Sistine Chapel are shut
04/14/2005 VATICAN - CONCLAVE
Voting for new pope begins Monday
04/16/2005 VATICAN - CONCLAVE - JAPAN
Hamao, helping migrants is mission's new frontier in Asia

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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pp. 528
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pp. 240
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