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Indonesian diocese forced to delay episcopal ordination

Ceremony to instal new Sibolga prelate on hold after Covid-19 lays low bishop-elect

Indonesian diocese forced to delay episcopal ordination

Father Fransiskus Tuaman Sasfo Sinaga, the bishop-elect of Sibolga. (Photo supplied)

The episcopal ordination of a new Indonesian bishop has been postponed after he tested positive for Covid-19, a Catholic Church official said on June 10.

Father Fransiskus Tuaman Sasfo Sinaga, appointed in March by Pope Francis as bishop of Sibolga in North Sumatra province, was due to be ordained on June 17.

“He is getting better. He is being treated and undergoing quarantine at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Medan. He will need several more days before he can finally be among the faithful,” diocese secretary Father Blasius Super Yesse told UCA News.

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“He won’t be able to attend his scheduled episcopal ordination ceremony,” said the secretary, adding he postponed the event after the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference and the nuncio to Indonesia were informed.

The diocese has not yet decided when the ordination will take place “because we are still awaiting word from the bishops and nuncio,” the priest said.

He said he hoped it would take place before the end of June.

I'm being treated well here in hospital. Please pray for me

The ordination ceremony has been postponed twice now.

Initially, the event was supposed to take place on May 20 but was postponed because the government slapped a travel ban on people wanting to return to their hometowns for the Eid al-Fitr national holiday to curb the spread of Covid-19.

When the ceremony does take place, it will be held at the Catholic Center in Pandan in North Sumatra’s Central Tapanuli district.

Only 500 people will attend the event at the venue which can accommodate about 1,300 people.

Bishop-elect Tuaman said he tested positive for Covid-19 on June 4. “I'm being treated well here in hospital. Please pray for me,” he told UCA News by phone.

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