01/29/2021, 12.33
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Ordination ceremony in Ambon cancelled because bishop has COVID-19

by Mathias Hariyadi

Archbishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi of Merauke (Papua) is the current apostolic administrator of Amboina. Five priestly ordinations were planned for tomorrow. The prelate tested positive for COVID-19 but is asymptomatic.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The priestly ordination of five deacons in the Diocese of Amboina (Moluccas) was cancelled at a later date because its apostolic administrator, Archbishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi, has contracted COVID-19.

Mgr Mandagi became the archbishop of Merauke, Papua, in November last year, but previously was the Bishop of Amboina (Ambon) between 1994 and 2020.

Contacted by phone, the prelate told AsiaNews: “I have been here in Ambon, the capital of Moluccas, for 12 days with lots of things to discuss and to do with local Church authority.”

Tomorrow, five deacons, two diocesans and three members of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC), were supposed to be ordained at the Cathedral of St Francis Xavier. Before becoming bishop, Mgr Mandagi was MSC superior.

For safety reasons, the archbishop chose “precaution to have a COVID-19 test” in order to ensure that he was not a “carrier of the COVID-19 during tomorrow’s priestly ordination ceremony. But unfortunately, I have contracted the virus so we have decided to cancel “the ceremony “scheduled  to happen tomorrow.”

The archbishop seems to be asymptomatic. “I feel nothing wrong in my body and I am still doing fine now,” he explained.

Archbishop Mandagi, who is 71, is currently in Ambon for treatment.

Among the countries of Southeast Asia, Indonesia is one of the most affected by the coronavirus. To date, it has reported 1,051,795 cases with 29,518 deaths.

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