Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Vatican confirms no pope at 7th Asian Youth Day

Indonesia voices disappointment as pontiff will 'almost certainly' visit India instead

Vatican confirms no pope at 7th Asian Youth Day

From left: Father Antonius Haryanto, executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission for Youth; Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmojo of Jakarta, chairman of the bishops’ conference; Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi, chairman of the bishops’ youth commission; and Father Heribertus Budi Purwantoro, coordinator of the Asian Youth Day organising committee. (ucanews.com photo)

Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta
Indonesia

March 13, 2017

Mail This Article
(For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)


The Indonesian Bishops' Conference has confirmed that Pope Francis will not attend the upcoming 7th Asian Youth Day to be hosted by Semarang Archdiocese in Central Java province.

Instead, Pope Francis plans to visit Bangladesh and India.

The pope shared his plan in October 2016 at a press conference aboard the papal flight back to Rome after a weekend visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan, scuppering hopes for an Indonesia sojourn. He said he would "almost certainly" visit Bangladesh and India but did not specify a date.

Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, chairman of the bishops' conference, said that the local church put in a rival bid for a papal visit in 2015, hoping the pontiff would be able to attend Asian Youth Day, held every three to five years.

"Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin met with President Joko Widodo in November 2015 and invited him to come to the Vatican. The president replied saying that it would also be good if the pope could come to Indonesia," the prelate said at a press conference on March 8 at the bishops' office in Central Jakarta.

However, it was not to be and Archbishop Suharyo confirmed that "the pope will not come to Indonesia this year."

Still, the bishops stressed the importance of Asian Youth Day, due to be held from July 30 until Aug. 6 with the theme "Joyful Asian Youth! Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia."

"This seventh youth day will focus on self-development so we can be closer to God, others and creation. [Young people] will be encouraged to see the world as it is. They will commit to elaborating on talents given by God to start making little changes," said Archbishop Suharyo.

There will be no discussion about politics and the youth will focus only on the joy of the Gospel. "We are saved so we have to spread the good news in a concrete way. It's not about broadcasting a Bible verse, it's about how the Bible affects our lives and how to catalyze a transformation," Archbishop Suharyo added. 

Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi of Ketapang in West Kalimantan province, chairman of the bishops' Commission for Youth, said that there was a growing number of young Catholics in the country. "I am optimistic that the church in Indonesia will be able to face global challenges," he said.

Referring to the event, he said that it would direct Catholic youth to reinvigorate the church. "Young people are creative and filled with talent. They can be agents of change in society," he said.

At least 3,000 young people from 26 Asian countries will take part in the event in Yogyakarta province. It will include a three-day live-in program in 11 dioceses as well as a three-day celebration and a one-day meeting of youth ministers.

UCAN needs your support to continue our independent journalism
Access to UCAN stories is completely free of charge - however it costs a significant amount of money to provide our unique content. UCAN relies almost entirely on donations from our readers and donor organizations that support our mission. If you are a regular reader and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation. Click here to donate now.
La Civiltà Cattolica
 

LATEST

Support Our Journalism

Access to UCAN stories is completely free of charge - however it costs a significant amount of money to provide our unique content. UCAN relies almost entirely on donations from our readers and donor organizations that support our mission. If you are a regular reader and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation.

Quick Donate

Or choose your own donation amount