Vatican City (Fides Service) – The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has (19 December 2003) established the diocese of Timika dismembering it from the diocese of Jayapura, rendering it suffragan of the Metropolitan See of Merauke.
The Holy Father has (19 December 2003) appointed first Bishop of Timika (Indonesia) Reverend John Philip Saklil of the clergy of Jayapura and Episcopal vicar of Jayapura diocese.
The new diocese of Timika will comprise 6 civil districts: Biak-Numfor, Yapen-Waropen, Nabire, Paniai, Puncak Jaya and Mimka and will be suffragan of the archdiocese of Merauke.
The Bishop elect Reverend John Philip Saklil was born on March 20, 1960 in Kokonao, diocese of Jayapura, Irian Jaya. He was educated in Indonesia and the Philippines. He was ordained on 23 October 1988. He has since ministered as follows: 1988-1993parish priest; 1993-1996 studies at East Asian Pastoral Institute in Manila; 1996-1999 Vicar General of the diocese; since 2000 Episcopal Vicar for the western part of the diocese with see in Timika.
The Bishop will reside in Timika and the parish church dedicated to the Three Kings will serve as Cathedral. (Fides Service 12/1/2004 EM lines 28 Words: 265)