Vatican News
Pope Francis at a general audience in the Vatican. Pope Francis at a general audience in the Vatican. 

Pope appoints new bishops in Indonesia

Pope Francis on July 14 appointed new bishops in the Dioceses of Purwokerto and Maumere in Indonesia.

Pope Francis on Saturday appointed new bishops in two dioceses of Indonesia and accepted the resignation of a bishop in India.


The Holy father appointed Father Christophorus Tri Harsono, the Vicar General of Bogor Diocese, as the new bishop of Purwokerto Diocese in central Java, Indonesia. 

The see of Purwokerto has been vacant since the retirement of Jesuit Bishop Julianus Kemo Sunarko on December 29, 2016.

Fifty-two year old bishop-designate Fr. Harsono was born in Bogor on January 18, 1966 and ordained as a priest of Bogor on February 5, 1995.  

After attending the Stella Maris Minor Seminary of Bogor, he completed his philosophical and theological studies at the Catholic University of Bandung. He was ordained priest on February 5, 1995, for Bogor Diocese.

As a priest Fr. Harsono held the following positions:

  • 1996-1998: Formator at the Minor Seminary of Bogor; served Rangkas Bitung parish on Sundays.
  • 1998-2001: Studied for licentiate in Islamic studies at P.I.S.A.I., Rome, Italy, spending his his first academic year in Cairo (Egypt), at the Dar Comboni-Arabic Study Center
  • 2001-2014: Rector and formator at the Major Seminary of Bandung
  • 2001-2014: Professor of Islamic studies at the Faculty of Philosophy of UNPAR, and of Catholic Religion and Comparative Religion at the MKU/Studium General UNPAR
  • 2007-2014: Member of the FKUB Forum Civil Association for Religious Harmony, West Java
  • Since 2014: Vicar General of the Diocese of Bogor.

He has also been an invited lecturer at the Islamic State University of Bandung.  

For three years he was member of the Commissions for Interreligious Dialogue and for Seminaries of the Bishops’ Conference of Indonesia (KWI).  In the Diocese of Bogor he also held the office of President of the Diocesan Commission for Interreligious Dialogue.


Elsewhere in Indonesia, the Pope appointed Father Ewaldus Martinus Sedu the new bishop of the Diocese of Maumere in Flores island.

Fr. Sedu, who has been the Vicar General of Maumere, takes over from his Bishop Gerulfus Kherubim Pereira SVD, who has stepped down having reached the canonical retirement age of 75 last year. 

Fr. Sedu, who will turn 55 on July 30, was born in 1963 in Bajawa (Archdiocese of Ende).   After attending the Minor Seminary of Mataloko, he completed his philosophical and theological studies at the Higher School of Philosophy and Theology, while staying at the Interdiocesan Major Seminary of St. Peter in Ritapiret.  

He was ordained priest on 7 July 1991 for the Archdiocese of Ende.  He was incardinated into the Diocese of Maumere when it was erected by Pope Benedict XVI on 14 December, 2005. 

As a priest he has held the following positions:

  • 1991-1993: Assistant parish priest of St. Joseph Church in Maumere
  • 1993-1995: Parish priest of Mary Mother of Carmel in Wolofeo
  • 1995-1997: Parish priest of St. Joseph in Maumere; head of the Catechetical Commission of Maumere
  • 1997-2001: Studied for licentiate in Pedagogy at Salesianum, Rome, Italy
  • 2001-2009: Professor and formator at the Interdiocesan Major Seminary of St. Peter in Ritapiret
  • 2010-2015: Rector of the Interdiocesan Major Seminary of St. Peter in Ritapiret
  • Since 2015: Vicar General of Maumere


Also on July 14, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Antony Devotta of Tiruchirapalli  in southern India’s Tamil Nadu state.  Bishop Devotta who reached the retirement age of 75 on June 30, was appointed Bishop of Tiruchirapally on November 16, 2000, by St. Pope John Paul II.

The see of Tiruchirapally will be vacant until the Pope appoints a bishop.

14 July 2018, 16:28