10/09/2019, 14.46
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Card Suharyo: The Church of Indonesia, love and service to the nation

by Paolo Fossati

The Archbishop of Jakarta is among 13 new cardinals created by Pope Francis in the consistory of 5 October. Yesterday, he met fellow Indonesians in Rome and reiterated the importance of unity among Indonesian ethnic and religious groups. Regarding the Synod on the Amazon, he said the “The Church can be the conscience of the world".

Rome (AsiaNews) – The Indonesian Church.”is the guardian of a very significant legacy; it must therefore continue on the path traced by those who preceded us and who find expression in love for our country,” said Card Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, Archbishop of Jakarta and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Indonesia (KWI[i]), and one of 13 new cardinals created by Pope Francis in the consistory of 5 October.

"In the nation’s history,” he noted,” there are countless events that testify to the contribution of Catholics. This is why I usually tell my aides that we must welcome this heritage with creativity, to provide the necessary answers to the context we serve. After all, I believe this is the basic attitude of the whole Catholic Church.”

"As Gaudium et spes says: ‘The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.’ History goes on, the environment changes: we must adapt to new situations, but our attitude remains the same."

“Pope Francis’s pontificate is inspired by the teachings found in the pastoral document of the Vatican Council II.” The current Synod for the Amazon is proof of this.”I would never have thought that such a topic could be discussed at a Synod of Bishops. The Church is trying to ‘socialise’ climate change. I hope that people understand the scale of the problem and adopt new ways of living.”

"Our task is not easy, but in my opinion the Church can be the conscience of the world; trying out certain steps, even small ones, in the hope that great transformations will follow. We cannot change the world like those with power and leaders of nations do, let alone oppose them. But each of us is called to work in his or her own small way, to become the conscience of their community.”

At the initiative of the Indonesian Embassy to the Holy See (picture 3: Ambassador Antonius Agus Sriyono), the cardinal met his fellow citizens yesterday afternoon at the St Paul the Apostle Pontifical International Missionary College. The event began with a Eucharistic celebration attended by almost 200 people.

During the Mass (pictures 1 and 2), Card Suharyo was assisted by Mgr Antonius Franciskus Subianto Bunyamin, Bishop of Bandung and KWI general secretary; Fr Lisandro Alirio Rivas Duran, rector of the College; and about 20 priests, almost all Indonesians.

In the homily and the reception that followed the service (picture 4), the cardinal stressed to those present the importance of unity among Indonesian ethnic and religious groups, a value that underpins the State.

In particular, the archbishop of Jakarta cited Sukarno, Indonesia’s Founding Father and first president, who decided to build the great Istiqlal Mosque in front of St Mary’s Cathedral.

Noting the important role of Catholics played in nation-building, he finally urged his fellow citizens to ”safeguard the historical past and take responsibility for preserving harmony".

[i] Konferensi Waligereja Indonesia

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