New Papua cathedral packs in 50,000 people

New Papua cathedral packs in 50,000 people

2010-10-08 14:30:27
An estimated 50,000 people attended the consecration of the Three Kings Cathedral in Timika diocese in Papua, eastern Indonesia. Apostolic nuncio to Indonesia Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, accompanied by Franciscan Bishop Leo Laba Ladjar of Jayapura and Bishop Yohanes Philipus Saklil of Timika, blessed the new cathedral on Oct. 7. In his homily, Bishop Ladjar said he hoped the inauguration of the cathedral will bring change to Papuan Catholics and truly represent the presence of God in the province. “With the new church, I hope that Timika’s Catholics will end the ethnic wars that happen every year and become good Catholics who pray and do good deeds,” Bishop Ladjar added. Catholics at the cathedral’s consecration ceremony were deeply touched. “I am very proud and really happy with the blessing. We worked for five years collecting construction money from basic communities and parishes,” said Yoseph Yopi Kilangin, a community leader from the indigenous Amungme group. Bishop Saklil told the gathering that it was a historic moment for the diocese. “I thank the government of Timika district, indigenous groups, donors and local Catholics for their fundraising efforts,”  he said. “I thank everyone for this church. Let’s work together for a strengthened faith and for an improved future of the people,” added Klemen Tinal, who heads Mimika district. Vice-governor of Papua, Alex Hesegem, congratulated the Catholics of Timika on their achievement. He apologized that many government officials were unable to be present as they were delivering aid to victims of floods and mudslides in Wasior, Papua, which has killed 110 people  and left another 450 missing. The construction of the church cost 25 billion rupiahs (approx US$2.7 million). Related reports West Papua diocese aids disaster victims Schooling failures hinder Papuan advancement West Papua diocese aids disaster victims IT11504.1622
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