Card. Darmaatmadja: "Fighting the evil influence of money in society"
by Benteng Reges

The archbishop of Jakarta drew attention to moral decadence arising from the desire for money and power. He urged Indonesian Catholics to become standard bearers of social morals and behaviour that are subject to ethical laws.

Bali (AsiaNews) – Money and the desperate quest for it "deeply affect every aspect of human life, mostly on a daily basis" and people "should be aware of the prevalence of this dangerous trend that has also taken root among Indonesian Catholics." With these words, the archbishop of Jakarta, the Jesuit Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja, yesterday opened his address to hundreds of believers gathered in Denpasar, Bali, for a pastoral meeting.

The cardinal said: "Indonesians, even Catholics, are easily influenced by money, position and social status. And this leads people to believe in values that are not based on our moral or cultural attitudes."

The Cardinal, who is president of the national bishops' conference, said this "moral decadence is a very serious problem that we must face daily. Its most immediate impact is there before the eyes of all:  corruption at all social strata. My question is: do we still have moral values or not? Are we civilized people or not?"

He continued: "The Indonesian people have good basics that should be fundamental principles for their life: religious faith, a great culture and Pancasila (five basic principles of the nation). Global wellbeing can be cultivated from these values which have however come under attack in several ways."

The cardinal highlighted his concern for what he saw as a widespread lack of compassion. "We are becoming ever more selfish and materialistic attitudes are in evidence everywhere. People are every more ready to hurt one another to have more social standing or to get ahead in their career."

In this perspective, "there is an urgent need for a new approach to the whole matter. This can be found if Catholics become the standard bearers of this novel concept. We must re-launch ethnical morals and ways of acting."

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