Pope makes Indonesian archbishop a cardinal

Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta among 13 prelates due to receive red hat on Oct. 5
Pope makes Indonesian archbishop a cardinal

Indonesia's Roman Catholic Church leader and Archbishop of Jakarta Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo (L) celebrates Mass at Jakarta Cathedral in this file photo. The archbishop was one of 13 prelates to be made cardinals by the pope on Sept.1. (Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP)

Pope Francis has announced 13 news cardinals, including Indonesia’s Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta.

The archbishop, who is also president of the Indonesian bishops’ conference, was the only Asian prelate among the group.

The pope made the announcement after the Angelus Prayer on Sept. 1 at the Vatican. The other 12 new cardinals come from North America, Central America, Africa, and Europe.

They will receive the red hat from Pope Francis on Oct 5. at the Vatican. 

"Their origin expresses the missionary vocation of the Church, which continues to proclaim the merciful love of God to all people on earth," Pope Francis said.

The pope’s elevation of Archbishop Suharyo, 69, makes him the third Indonesian to become cardinal, the last being Jesuit Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja — Suharyo’s predecessor as Jakarta archbishop — who was elevated in 1994.

Being under 80 years of age, Archbishop Suharyo will join the ranks of cardinal electors able to take part in a conclave to select a new pope.

As well as heading the Indonesian bishops’ conference, Archbishop Suharyo also serves as bishop for the Military Ordinary for Indonesia, and is a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of People. 

Born in Bantul in Yogyakarta on July 9, 1950, he was ordained as a priest on Jan. 26, 1976, and became a bishop on Aug. 22, 1997. He was transferred to Jakarta as coadjutor in 2009 and made archbishop on June 29, 2010.

“Thank God for the trust and love of Pope Francis for the Catholic Church in Indonesia by appointing Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo as cardinal,” Father Vincentius  Adi Prasodjo, secretary of Jakarta Archdiocese, in a statement. 

Reverend Gomar Gultom, general secretary of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, said he felt proud that the archbishop had been appointed cardinal.

“He is a passionate shepherd, not only for Catholics but also other people of different religions. Communicating with him and his personal touch makes everyone comfortable,” he said.

Ahmad Syafii Maarif, former head of Muhammadyah, the second largest Islamic organization in Indonesia congratulated Archbishop Suharyo. 

“This is an extraordinary gift from the pope to the Indonesian people,” he said in a video message.

Hargo Mandirahardjo, chairman of the Association of Indonesian Catholic Intellectuals (ISKA), also welcomed the archbishop’s elevation. 

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“It brings joy for the entire Catholic Church in Indonesia,” he said.

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