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Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta, Indonesia. Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Indonesian archbishop's Easter message focusses on threats to unity

Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta condemned bribery and corruption for political gains, saying they are a threat to national unity.

An Indonesian archbishop has hit out against the craze for money, power and prestige which, he said, are threating the unity of the nation.  "Many Catholics make the effort to build good relations with religious leaders in their own areas by meeting them. They do it to promote unity, which now seems to be being torn apart," Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta has said.

Corruption – enemy of unity

Addressing reporters after Easter Sunday Mass on April 1 at St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral Church in the capital, Archbishop Ignatius referred to a number of bribery cases involving politicians in recent months ahead of upcoming regional and local polls in June.

Graftbusters have arrested at least six candidates since last September for allegedly taking bribes. One of the candidates, Marianus Sae, a Catholic district head in East Nusa Tenggara, was arrested on Feb. 11 for allegedly taking bribes from a contractor to finance his bid to become the provincial governor in June.

Archbishop Ignatius denounced the crave for money, power and prestige, saying they are an evil “could become an enemy of the unity in Indonesia."

"Money,” he said, “is spent to gain power through bribery and corruption.”  Once they have it, they crave for more with “with the ultimate goal to get prestige and power.”


Lamenting several candidates suspected in bribery and corruption cases, the 67-year old archbishop said this is what happens when politics does not uphold the values of the Pancasila.

The Pancasila, or the 5 ‎principles are: belief in one God, a just and civilized society, ‎unity of the ‎country, ‎democracy and ‎social ‎justice.  They form the philosophical and political ideology of the Indonesian ‎state, ensuring unity amidst religious diversity in an officially secular system.‎

Catholic leaders for good governance, unity

Yohanes Handoyo Budhisedjati, who heads Vox Point Indonesia, a Catholic lay organization, said Catholics "need to uphold the spirit of a good governance which can unite all social elements." The threat of "disunity cannot be ignored anymore," he told UCANEWS.

"Catholics should go out and mingle with people from different backgrounds. This is a very important thing to do right now," he said.

Hargo Mandirahardjo, chairman of the Association of Catholic Graduates and Intellectuals in Indonesia, said the prelate's message "comes at the right time." He called on Catholics to promote national unity. (Source: UCANEWS)

03 April 2018, 15:59