Bishop-elect Adrianus Sunarko. (Photo by Franciscan Brother Trimur Yanto)
Pope Francis has appointed Franciscan Father Adrianus Sunarko, the provincial of Indonesia, as the new bishop of Pangkalpinang, replacing Divine Word Bishop Hilarius Moa Nurak who died in April last year.
Bishop Yohanes Harun Yuwono of Tanjungkarang announced the appointment on June 28.
Bishop Yuwono has served as Apostolic Administrator of Pangkalpinang Diocese since May 7 last year.
Bishop-elect Sunarko is Javanese, but was born in Merauke, Papua on Dec 7, 1966.
He attended the minor seminary of Mertoyudan, Magelang, in Central Java.
He was ordained a priest on July 8, 1995 and later served as chaplain at the Sacred Heart Parish in Jakarta.
In 1996, he went to study for a Bachelors degree in theology at Albert-Ludwig University in Freiburg, Germany.
Since 2002, he has served as a lecturer of dogmatic theology at Jakarta’s Driyarkara School of Philosophy and as provincial since 2009.
In 2014, Bishop-elect Sunarko became president of the Indonesian Conference of Major Religious Superiors.
His older brother Laurentius Sutadi is also a priest and serves as vicar general in Ketapang Diocese.
Franciscan Father Vinsensius Darmin Mbula, described Bishop-elect Sunarko as a humble person.
"He is patient, calm and understanding," he said.
Jesuit Father Justinus Sudarminta, a fellow lecturer at Driyarkara, said the new bishop is a smart and a good theologian.
"Driyarkara is losing a good lecturer," he said.
Pangkalpinang Diocese is based in Pangkalpinang, the provincial capital of Bangka-Belitung province.
Its territory includes Bangka Belitung and Riau Archipelago province.
The diocese has about 58,000 Catholics from several ethnic groups.