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Jakarta Archdiocese declares 2018 'Year of Unity'

Archbishop’s pastoral letter calls for national unity

In his first pastoral letter of 2018 Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta has declared 2018 as the’Year of Unity’.  The three-page pastoral letter will be read out during Sunday Masses on Jan. 6-7 in all parishes.

Adherence to State’s philosophy

The  Archbishop invites the faithful to have a deep understanding of the state philosophy’s third principle – ‘national unity’ through a slogan ‘We are Diverse, We are Indonesia’.  This slogan he says  contains ideas which could be materialized into various activities to build a new way of perceiving, thinking and acting in which others’ interests have prominence.   His pastoral letter stresses  the need for Catholics to strengthen national unity despite their differences, including political ones.

Mary, symbol of unity

Growing religious intolerance as reported by Human Rights Watch was evident during the last Jakarta governor election that saw the ouster and jailing of ethnic Chinese Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.

To overcome this fear of intolerance, the archdiocese is launching an image of Our Lady of All Ethnicities as a symbol of unity.  This image has a national character: the national emblem of Garuda Pancasila on her chest, a red and white veil on her head, and an Indonesian map on her crown.

Archbishop Suharyo hopes the image will make them realize that brotherhood, togetherness and unity within the church and the society are God’s blessings they must continue to ask for in their prayers and to materialize in their endeavors.(UCAN)

04 January 2018, 16:08