Thousands attend ordination of new Indonesian archbishop

Kornelius Sipayung installed as Archbishop of Medan less than two months after being appointed
Thousands attend ordination of new Indonesian archbishop

Archbishop Kornelius Sipayung of Medan after his ordination. (Courtesy of Medan Archdiocese)


Indonesia gained another prelate on Feb. 2 when Capuchin Father Kornelius Sipayung was installed as the new archbishop of Medan, less than two months after being appointed.

Pope Francis appointed the relatively young Sipayung, 48, in December to replace 77-year-old Capuchin Archbishop Anicetus Bongsu Sinaga who retired. 

His episcopal ordination was held in Deli Serdang district of North Sumatra Province and concelebrated by the Papal Nuncio to Indonesia, Archbishop Piero Pioppo, Archbishop Sinaga and Capuchin Bishop Martinus Dogma Situmorang of Padang in West Sumatra province.

Thirty-three bishops, as well as 14,000 priests, nuns, laypeople and local government officials, including North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi, attended the ceremony.

The new archbishop chose Deus Meus et Omnia (My God and My All) as his episcopal motto.

Archbishop Sinaga expressed hope his successor would continue his efforts to strengthen local Catholics’ faith and building good relations with people from different religious backgrounds.

Governor Rahmayadi hoped that Archbishop Sipayung would play a significant role in maintaining interreligious harmony.

“I hope he can protect the people, particularly Catholics" from any potential sectarian issues that may arise, he told news portal

In August 2016 a priest was injured by a teenage axe-wielding would be suicide bomber who attacked him during Sunday Mass at a church in Medan.

Archbishop Sipayung attended Christus Sacerdos Minor Seminary in Pematangsianta in Sumatra, before being ordained a priest on Dec. 11, 1999 and serving as parish priest at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Kabanjahe, in Karo district.

In 2002, he went to Rome to study dogmatic theology at Gregorian University in Rome. After 2005 he lectured in various theological disciplines at St. John’s School of Philosophy and Theology in Pematangsianta.

He was elected Capuchin provincial superior in 2015 and re-elected in 2018 for a second three-year term until 2021.

He is also a member of the Commission for Theological Concerns at the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference and of the Pacific-Asia Capuchin Conference.

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