Tue, 31 Oct 2000

Catholic synod on New Indonesia

JAKARTA (JP): Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Indonesia will gather starting Wednesday to discuss ways of empowering the community in the "New Indonesia".

The Synod of the Indonesian Catholic Church 2000, which brings together representatives from the 34 dioceses throughout the country, will meet to seek a better future for the churches, chairman of the steering committee Soedjati Djiwandono said in a media briefing on Monday.

The Roman Catholic community makes up about six million of Indonesia's 210 million population.

Representatives of other religious communities have been invited, including Hasyim Muzadi of Nahdlatul Ulama, Malik Fajar of Muhammadyah, and Eka Dharmaputera of the Union of Indonesian Churches, Soedjati said.

"We will share each of our own experience in formulating the concept of the New Indonesia," he said.

The New Indonesia was first coined after the downfall of the regime of president Soeharto in 1998.

All the gatherings will be held at Kinasih building in Caringin, Bogor, except for the closing ceremony on Nov. 5, which will be held in Jakarta, an event to which President Abdurrahman Wahid has been invited.

The Bishops Council of Indonesia (KWI) will continue with its annual meeting in Bogor between Nov. 6 and 11. (02)