Apostolic Nuncio to Indonesia Archbishop Piero Pioppo consecrated a new parish church on March 11 next to a mosque in Pontianak Archdiocese
in West Kalimantan. Many hope the presence of the church will promote religious tolerance among local people. Three bishops including Archbishop Agustinus Agus of Pontianak as well as former West Kalimantan Catholic governor Kornelis and thousands of parishioners attended the consecration of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church. In his homily, Archbishop Pioppo emphasized that Catholics must always remain united and respect other religious people. "My presence in Pontianak also gives the message and the spirit to always keep the peace," he said. Meanwhile, Archbishop Agus said the nuncio's presence gives strength to Catholics to remain united. "He reminds us to be united and bring peace to the whole society which consists of diverse backgrounds," he told ucanews.com. Karolin Margret Natasa, chairwoman of the church building committee, said the location of the church, so close to Nursalim Mosque, one of the big mosques in Pontianak, is a symbol of interfaith harmony. "When we are at Mass, we can also hear the call to prayer from the mosque. And we accept this as something beautiful. This is proof that the spirit of togetherness in difference is well preserved in this area," she said. Archbishop Pioppo also blessed the statue of Antonino Ventimiglia, the patron saint of the inter-diocesan major seminary Pastor Bonus School of Theology and met the seminarians.