08/08/2022, 18.30
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Mgr Mandagi takes office as the new archbishop of Merauke

by Mathias Hariyadi

The ceremony of instalments took place yesterday after a two-year delay due to the pandemic. In the past, the prelate played a key role in the Malino II peace accord. The promotion of indigenous rights will be at the heart of his pastoral mission.

Merauke (AsiaNews) – Mgr Petrus Canisius Mandagi is the new archbishop of Merauke, an archdiocese located in the southern part of Papua.

The ceremony of possession canonica, which had been postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was held yesterday in the presence of Card Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, 17 Indonesian bishops, thousands of faithful as well as local authorities.

The papal nuncio to Indonesia, Archbishop Piero Pioppo, handed over the archepiscopal pallium to Mgr Mandagi, former bishop of the diocese of Amboina for 25 years.

“Pope Francis officially assigned me the new pastoral mission in the Archdiocese of Merauke, Papua, in November 2020 but only today I am installed as the new archbishop,” said Mgr Mandagi during the ceremony.

The Vatican chose him for his exceptional service in Maluku Province between 1999 and 2002 when he was directly involved in negotiating the Malino II accord that ended sectarian violence between Muslim radicals and Protestants.

As archbishop of Merauke, Mandagi will also devote himself to promoting peace in Papua.

In July 2021, speaking in the wake of violence and humiliation by military officers against indigenous people, he said that, “our local indigenous people of Papua should be treated with dignity and their civil rights should be respected and guaranteed.”

The archdiocese is home to the largest Catholic community on the island of Papua, divided in four dioceses: Agats, Jayapura, Manokwari-Sorong, and Timika.

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