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Indonesian cardinal closes month of plenary indulgences

Mass and flower-sowing ceremony held at Covid-19 victims’ graves in North Jakarta

Indonesian cardinal closes month of plenary indulgences

Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo sows flowers at a Covid-19 victim’s grave after a Mass held on Nov. 30 in the compound of Rorotan Public Cemetery in North Jakarta. (Photo: Jakarta Archdiocese)

Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta has closed a month of plenary indulgences for the souls with a concelebrated Mass and a flower-sowing ceremony at Covid-19 victims’ graves in North Jakarta.

The prelate presided at the Mass held in a tent in the compound of Rorotan Public Cemetery, a two-hectare plot of land set up by the Jakarta administration as a burial space for victims of the coronavirus, on Nov. 30.

Concelebrating the Mass attended by only a limited number of Catholics were Father Samuel Pangestu, the archdiocese’s vicar general and head of its Covid-19 prevention team, and Vincentian Father Aloysius Cahyo Kristianto from Holy Cross Church in Cilincing subdistrict.

The Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary published in October a decree extending the plenary indulgences for the deceased faithful for the entire month of November after “having listened to the various pleas recently received from various Sacred Pastors of the Church due to the continuing state of the pandemic.”

Usually, the Church only grants plenary indulgences for the souls in purgatory to those praying in a cemetery from Nov. 1-8 — the week of the Solemnity of All Souls’ Day.

“Today we want to close the month of November, which — according to the Church — is a special chance to remember with love our brothers and sisters who have passed away by celebrating a Eucharistic celebration in the compound of this public cemetery,” Cardinal Suharyo said in his homily.

We pray that the pandemic, which has ruined the human life, will strengthen our faith and give us the strength to take care of ourselves more for the sake of the common good

“In particular, we want to remember with love and to pray for our brothers and sisters who have died because of the Covid-29 pandemic. We also want to remember our family members and friends who have passed away. Many of them had no one to remember them.”

Calling on Catholics to pray for all people in Indonesia and in the world, he said: “We pray that the pandemic, which has ruined the human life, will strengthen our faith and give us the strength to take care of ourselves more for the sake of the common good.”

After the Mass, Cardinal Suharyo and the two priests sowed flowers at Covid-19 victims’ graves in the public cemetery.

The Mass was also livestreamed on the archdiocese’s social communications commission’s YouTube channel.

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Nearly 3,000 Catholics joined the Mass remotely. Among them was Laksmi Budilestari Mieke, who prayed for her husband, Hubertus Suprashartono, who died of Covid-19 on May 4.

Indonesia has recorded 4.26 million Covid-19 cases and 144,000 deaths since the pandemic hit the country in March 2020.

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