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Pope Francis to Visit Indonesia This September

Pope Francis to Visit Indonesia This September
Pope Francis to Visit Indonesia This September. Image Source: Vatican News

This will be the third time the head of the Catholic Church has visited Indonesia.

The Indonesian Minister of Religion, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, made an announcement on the Ministry of Religion‘s official website on the 31st of March, 2024, that Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Indonesia on the 3rd of September this year. Pope Francis would be the third Pope who has ever visited Indonesia. The last time Indonesia hosted a visitation by the Pope was more than 35 years ago; precisely when the late Pope John Paul II stopped by Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Medan, and Maumere back in 1989.

“Based on the letter delivered by the Vatican that was received by the government of Indonesia, Pope Francis will visit Indonesia on the 3rd of September,” Qoumas told the press in a statement. “This visit will certainly be an honour for us Indonesian people.”

Qoumas further noted that the government has previously attempted to invite Pope Francis, who not only serves as the head of the Catholic Church but also serves as the bishop of Rome and sovereign of the Vatican City State, back in the year 2022. The President, Joko Widodo, has also sent a letter to the Pope, extending the former’s official invitation to the latter. Unfortunately, the global COVID-19 pandemic at the time caused a hindrance to the plan.

“After waiting for two years now, Pope Francis can finally grace his presence here in Indonesia. I believe this will be a special gift for the Catholics [in this country], in particular,” Qoumas added.

In response to the announcement, Father V. Adi Prasojo, currently serving as the secretary-general of the Jakarta Archdiocese, told the press that he believed that the Pope’s upcoming visit would be a historical one. Prasojo also noted that, after the declaration of independence by the Indonesians back in 1945, the Vatican was one of the first five countries that acknowledged Indonesia’s independence.

“It must be kept in mind that the Pope is the supreme leader of all the Catholics across the world as well as the Vatican’s head of state. Thus, his visit would be [considered] an official state visit,” Prasojo remarked.

The priest also confirmed that the Jakarta Archdiocese will follow instructions as given by the government.

“The one most responsible for arranging and hosting the Pope’s [upcoming] visit is the government. Thus, we [the Jakarta Archdiocese] will comply with the directions given by the government. We are praying that, once September approaches, the Pope will, indeed, grace his presence [in Indonesia],” Prasojo added.

The government has not yet specified which cities in Indonesia Pope Francis will visit in September.

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