Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The theme of compassion, sharing suffering with others, the Gospel passages devoted to this theme and reflections in other cultures and other religions in the country, as is clear from the findings of the Buddhist temple of Borobudur. These were the topics touched on by the Archbishop of Jakarta and President of the Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI) Msgr. Ignatius Suharyo, at the national conference of the Catholic Women’s Association (Wkri), which was held from the first to October 3 in the center of the capital.
The three days of meetings and discussions on the topic was aimed at strengthening the spirit of the participants and enhancing their ability to relate to and build up society. The event of recent days was attended by delegates from across the country, including remote areas of Papua, the provinces of Sumatra and Borneo.
Wkri the promoter of the initiative, the oldest and largest organization of Catholic women in the Indonesian archipelago (born in 1924) brings together more than 90 thousand members scattered throughout the territory and is active in the field of social and human rights. The association was created to defend the rights of workers employed in the tobacco industry, whose working conditions were very bad and wages low.
Addressing the meeting, Msgr. Suharyo explained that compassion is part of an "old" local wisdom, a peculiarity of the Christian faith "beautifully carved in the temple of Borobudur." It is a building of the eighth century, the largest Buddhist temple in the world in size, among Unesco’s world heritage sites, located in the regency of Yogyakarta (Central Java). The carved reliefs include that an elderly traveler, where some animals provide food for refreshment.
Compassion is a "concept of faith" apparent in some Gospel passages (Luke 6:36 and Matthew 5:48). Moreover, looking at Jesus who felt compassion towards others "the political climate of the time must be taken into account, in which injustice and iniquity were common practice," added the prelate. "Jesus did not represent himself as the glorious God - concluded the archbishop of Jakarta - as imagined by the Jewish society. Instead he made friends with the marginalized people, he was merciful and treated them as human beings. "
Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation. Christians represent 5.7 per cent of the population with Catholics just over 3.6 per cent.
The latter are an active part of society. Over the years, they have contributed to the nation's development and played a major role in emergency operations, as was the case during the devastating floods of January 2013.