UCA News

Indonesia

Indonesian Catholics disappointed over no new cardinal

Country already has a cardinal but being over 80 is ineligible to vote in a conclave

Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Indonesian Catholics disappointed over no new cardinal

A file image inside Jakarta Cathedral during Mass. (Photo by AFP)

Share this article :
There has been widespread disappointment among Catholics in Indonesia when the country was passed over in the latest round of cardinal appointments.

It is the third time since being elected that Pope Francis has promoted other Asian bishops ahead of those in Indonesia; this time he named new cardinals in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia's neighbor, Papua New Guinea.

The predominantly Muslim country has only one cardinal who is 81 and in poor health. Cardinal Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, retired Jakarta archbishop, was named cardinal in 1994.

He participated in the 2005 conclave when Pope Benedict XVI was elected and retired as Jakarta archbishop in 2010 at the age of 75. In 2013, for health reasons, he couldn't participate in the conclave that elected Pope Francis.

"Honestly, I am a little disappointed," Pankrasius Niksan, a Catholic layman working for Jakarta Archdiocese's Commission for Catechetics, told ucanews.com on Oct. 10.

"We won't have a participant in the conclave to elect the next pope because the only cardinal we have is over 80. It's also a prestige for the church in Indonesia to have cardinals," he said.

On Oct. 9, Pope Francis named 17 new cardinals from 14 countries, 13 of the new cardinals are younger than 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a pope.

"We do hope there'll be a new cardinal from Indonesia one day soon because Cardinal Darmaatmadja is very old," said Niksan, who is also a parishioner from St. Joseph Church in Matraman, East Jakarta.

"The number of Catholics in Indonesia continues to grow, and this is also a reason why we need a new cardinal," he said.

For Yohanes Baptista Inocenty Loe, a Divine Word seminarian, the pope's decision was correct. "So if I'm asked whether or not I am a little disappointed … not really. The pope has the right to name anyone cardinal," he said.

Joannes Joko, secretary general of the Association of Catholic Graduates and Intellectuals in Indonesia, said that the country has some bishops with good intellectual capability who could be promoted.

"Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta is an example. He's under 70. It means we have the potential for a new cardinal who is still productive," he said.

According to Franciscan Father Antonius Eddy Kristiyanto, a lecturer in church history at the Jakarta-Based Driyarkara School of Philosophy, the country only has one cardinal "because it's related to the small number of Catholics."

According to data from the Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, the country has only about 9 million Catholics out of a total population of nearly 250 million.

  

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
 
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM

Publisher

Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."