ASIA/INDONESIA - Bishops: to strengthen the nation by supporting Pancasila
Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) – In order to strengthen the nation, its unity, coexistence and social harmony, it is important for Indonesian Catholic faithful to support Pancasila without hesitation, the fundamental charter that is at the basis of the nation: say the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Indonesia at the end of the plenary assembly held in Jakarta from 6 to 16 November. As Fides learns, the meeting was centered on "the Catholic Church’s historical relevance and significance: The Church's Call to Purify the world", and ended with a message inviting Indonesian Catholic communities to give a specific contribution to strengthen national unity.
The message presented by Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo, at the head of the Archdiocese of Jakarta and by the Secretary General of the Conference, Antonius Subianto Bunjamin OSC, Bishop of Bandung, states that "the Catholic Church, an essential part of the Indonesian nation, is involved in taking care and in determining the future of the nation". "The Church's main role in building a nation that follows the principles of Pancasilla - says the text sent to Fides - is in the work of lay people, while Pastors are invited to accompany them and give an example".
The message continues: "The Catholic Church deplores the fact that Pancasila is undermined by radicalism and terrorism, and national unity is offended by intolerant attitudes towards those who profess a different faith from Islam, while a certain political approach uses religious, ethnic and social groups for their own interests, ignoring the common good and the fundamental principle of human dignity".
In this framework, "the Catholic faithful must sincerely continue to open up and build dialogue with people of other faiths to get to know each other, eliminate suspicion and eradicate religious fanaticism". Through dialogue, "the wall of separation collapses and Indonesian people can build bridges of friendship and brotherhood", the text says. Brotherhood add the Bishops "can be strengthened by engaging in activities of reciprocal reception and hospitality during religious feasts, interreligious social activities, meetings of interreligious leaders".
Even mass media and social media can become "a means of strengthening brotherhood by proclaiming and spreading the teachings of fraternal love and experience, while respecting differences".
The Bishops message comes as the country prepares the 2018 political agenda, when the administrative elections will be held in 171 regions, and in 2019, when legislative and presidential elections are scheduled. The Bishops invite all parishioners to pay attention to the election campaign, where religious, ethnic and social issues will be exploited.
The message concludes: "The Church invites all the faithful to understand more and more the Pancasila as the foundation of Indonesia, so that social movements can be developed in the name of coexistence and we can build unity according to God's will".
The new Vatican Apostolic Nuncio in Indonesia, Archbishop Piero Pioppo, who has just arrived in Indonesia, took part in the assembly (PP-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 20/11/2017)