Indonesian Church Prepares to Welcome Pope Francis

Jakarta-based Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo called Pope Francis' September visit an opportunity for Indonesian Catholics to explore and practice his humanitarian messages.

Indeed, the physical presence of Pope Francis is more important and more joyful [occasion] For us, the Indonesian bishops' conference was released on April 8, six months before the visit, Suhario said in a video.

The 73-year-old church leader wanted Catholics to pay attention to Francis' messages and thoughts as they prepare to celebrate his physical presence in the country.

He added that papal messages should also be about us and that we want to read them.

The last two important papal messages in the Indonesian context were Suhario's on the human responsibility to protect the environment in his encyclical Laudato si and the importance of maintaining fraternity in Fratelli Tutti.

Suharyo described them as great ideas, not in the sense that they are great, but in the sense that they are the most important in the history of mankind in our time.

The cardinal also hoped that the Pope's physical presence would encourage Indonesian Catholics to study his teachings and find ways to put them into practice.

The video shows Suhario speaking with Bishop Antonius Subianto Benjamin of Bandung, president of the bishops' conference.

Subianto said the conference deliberately announced the Pope's visit on Annunciation Day because it was good news for Indonesia.

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Msgr Piero Pioppo, Apostolic Envoy to Indonesia, said in a March 5 note to the country's foreign minister that Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Indonesia from September 3 to 6.

Of course, Pope Francis' visit to Indonesia is still awaiting an official announcement from the government and the Vatican, Subianto said.

Suhario said the papal visit is a long journey not only to Indonesia, but from Indonesia to Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, Singapore and Vietnam.

„I don't think there's ever been a trip that spanned five countries like ours,” he said.

He said the Pope will definitely not spend much time in Indonesia as he visits various countries.

Catholics across Indonesia want to shake hands with the Pope, but we all know that is impossible, the cardinal added.

Suhario said the victory was of historical significance as it was one of the few countries to recognize Indonesia after Indonesia's independence in 1945.[1945இல்இந்தோனேசியாசுதந்திரம்அடைந்தபிறகுவத்திக்கான்மாநிலம்இந்தோனேசியாவைஅங்கீகரித்தமுதல்சிலநாடுகளில்ஒன்றாகஇருப்பதால்இந்தவிஜயம்வரலாற்றுமுக்கியத்துவம்வாய்ந்ததுஎன்றுசுஹாரியோகூறினார்

The pontifical visit could strengthen the faith of Indonesian Catholics, said Petrus Canisius Mandaki, bishop of Merak in the southern Papua province.

Through this visit, I hope that Indonesian Catholics will become more courageous in voicing the truth and become an example to other religions based on true religious life, which means above all love, as the Pope always emphasizes, he told UCA News on April 8. .

Religion Minister Yaqut Cholil Quomas confirmed the news of the Pope's visit to Indonesia in a statement issued on March 30.

Of Indonesia's population of more than 270 million, 24 million are Christians. Catholics are about 7 million.

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The country has six organized religions – Buddhism, Catholicism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam and Protestantism – and about 200 traditional faiths.

Francis is the third Pope to visit the world's largest Muslim-majority country, following the visits of Pope Paul VI in December 1970 and Pope John Paul II in October 1989.

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