06/24/2017, 13.50
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For Eid, Catholics change their Mass timetable to leave carparks free for Muslim "brothers"

by Mathias Hariyadi

In Jakarta, car parks for the cathedral and mosque are used by both communities. Early morning moves to "leave room" for the celebrations of the Islamic feast. Message from the Archbishop of Jakarta.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - In a sign of respect for Muslim fellow citizens, some Indonesian churches will "reschedule" masses to facilitate the celebration of the Islamic Eid festival (Idul Fitri or Lebaran in Indonesian), which will be held tomorrow, June 25th. The reason for this decision is to avoid traffic chaos and as a sign of solidarity with Muslim "brothers".

In Jakarta the cathedral and the large Istiqlal mosque are located in the same area. For years now, the two religious communities use the facilities of both structures for their religious celebrations: Catholics use the car parks on the weekend, while Muslims do the same for Friday's prayer.

However, this year the Idul Fitri celebrations, which take place on Sunday, may cause confusion. For this reason the parish administration of the Catholic cathedral has decided to "omit" two Sunday morning mases. A diocesan leaflet explains the reasons: "To show respect and tolerance to our Muslim brothers and to meet their need to have more room to pray during Idul Fitri's celebration, our weekly morning masses will be scheduled for 10 am and 12 ". In the cathedral, masses are usually held at 6, 7:30, 9 and 11.

Such a decision was made by Tanjungkarang Cathedral in Lampung Province, Sumatera. The pastor Fr. Sujanto says that instead of morning mass at 6:30 and 8:30, it will be celebrated only at 9:30.

In Pamekasan, in the eastern Java Madura Island, Fr. Damian Fadjar Tedjo Soekarno of the parish of Our Lasy Queen of the Apostles told AsiaNews that Sunday's masses will not be celebrated, but "we will have one on Saturday evening." In Madura, Christians and Catholics are a minority.

Another initiative is a video message by Msgr. Ignatius Suharyo, Archbishop of Jakarta, and President of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference, expressing his wishes to all Indonesian Muslims in view of the annual celebration of Idul Fitri. Msgr. Vincentius Sutikno Wisaksono Pr, bishop of Surabaya, also extended greetings to all Muslim fellow citizens.

In Indonesia, Idul Fitri's feast is not "exclusive" to Muslims, but is celebrated by all citizens. Over the past few days, at least eight million residents of Jakarta have returned to their hometowns for the occasion. This mass movement could be a problem for some well off Indonesian families, whose domestic life rely on  housekeepers.

The days from June 23 to 29 2017 are national holidays.

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