09/03/2015, 00.00
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West Java, Franciscan missionary translates "Laudato Sì" into Indonesian

by Mathias Hariyadi
Fr. Martin Harun, of Dutch origin, wanted to translate the document "to express gratitude to God" and "respect" for the Pope. The text, welcomed "with enthusiasm" by the faithful, is available on the Indonesian Bishops' Conference website. As a basic text he used the French, comparing it to the Italian and German version.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Thanks to the efforts of a Franciscan friar, Indonesian Catholics can now read through the encyclical of Pope Francis "Laudato sì" in their native language. The document has just been made available in digital format and can be downloaded by logging on to the provider Obor Publishing Company, owned by the Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI). The translation is the work of Fr. Martin Harun (pictured), who since his retirement has led a life of study, prayer and meditation in the Franciscan monastery of Cipanas (West Java).

Since its official launch on June 18, the Franciscan priest of Dutch origin enthusiastically embraced the project of translating the papal encyclical - available in Italian, German, English, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Arabic and French – and now also in the Indonesian language .

The priest and emeritus professor of Scripture at the Driyarkara Institute of Philosophy in Jakarta said he wanted to translate the text "to express my personal gratitude to God, the creator of heaven and earth” and to show "my strong respect," he adds, "for the Holy Father who enthusiastically invites us to a dialogue on the future of the earth."

Fr. Martin Harun also reminds his belonging to the Franciscan order, and its spirit of "personal commitment to show love and respect to 'Mother Earth' in Indonesia, my second home after the Netherlands."

In August the missionary celebrated his 50th anniversary as a priest. Before addressing the translation of the text, he looked at which language base to use. He chose the French version, because closer to the original in Italian, the two languages ​​that he knows best (along with English and Dutch).

"As a basic text I used the French - he explains - comparing it in some points with the version in Italian and German." He noted that the translation "is not perfectly faithful" to the original, because he also wanted to respond to the needs of Indonesians - who have welcomed the document with "enthusiasm" - to understand the text in some places, disclosing certain concepts and steps.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation. Christians represent 5.7 per cent of the population with Catholics just over 3.6 per cent.

The latter are an active part of society. Over the years, they have contributed to the nation's development and played a major role in emergency operations, as was the case during the devastating floods of January 2013.

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