Pope to Visit Indonesia 03-06 Sept 2024

The Indonesian Minister of Religion, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, has announced that Pope Francis will visit Indonesia for three days in September 2024 as part of a four-country tour to the Far East. Pope Frances will visit three countries, departing Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino International Airport on 02 September and returning on 13 September 2024.

Pope Francis will touch down in Indonesia’s capital on 03 September, remaining there until 06 September. From Jakarta, the Pope will fly to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, and visit nearby Vanimo on September 6-9. The Papal journey will continue to Dili, the capital of Timor-Lester, on 09-11 September.

Before returning to Rome, Pope Francis will spend three days from 11 to 13 September 2024 in the island nation of Singapore.

As the Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, and Head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis leads a global congregation estimated at 1,378 baptized Catholics.

The Holy See will publish a detailed itinerary for the Pope’s tour in due course.

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, with Roman Catholics numbering around 8.1 million or 3% of the total population. Papua New Guinea is home to 2 million Catholics, around 32% of its population. Timor-Leste, which achieved independence from Indonesia in 2002, has 96% of its 1 million population as Catholic Church members. Singapore, the last stop in the Pope’s trip, is home to 395,000 Catholics, a number roughly equal to 3% of the Republic’s population.

Indonesia’s Invitation to Pope Francis 

Indonesian Minister of Religious Affairs Qoumas has received a formal letter from The Holy See at the Vatican confirming that Pope Francis’s visit to Indonesia will commence on 03 September 2024. The Minister termed the planned visit of Pope Francis as a great honor for the Indonesian people and was eagerly awaited by President Joko Widodo. 

Minister Qoumas confirmed that Indonesian Widodo’s invitation to Pope Francis for a Papal visit to Indonesia was delivered in June 2022.

“Praise be to God, that after a wait of two years, Pope Francis is finally able to visit Indonesia. I think this is a special gift, especially to Roman Catholics,” said Qoumas. Continuing, the Minister noted Indonesia treasures tolerance and peace between the followers of all religions. The Papal Visit demonstrates religious tolerance and harmony among all Indonesian people, including hundreds of followers of local religious traditions. Qoumas added: “We hope that Pope Frances will witness the wide diversity in Indonesia.”

Speaking on 08 April 2024, the head of the Catholic Church in Indonesia welcomed the papal visit to Indonesia, saying the trip emphasizes the close relationship between all Indonesians—both Catholics and non-Catholics—and the Vatican.  

Indonesia’s Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo

Cardinal Suharryo added that the coming trip demonstrates Indonesia’s Catholics’ deep relationship with the Vatican, dating back to Indonesia’s Independence. 

The Vatican only formally recognized Indonesia as an independent republic on 16 March 1950, 4.5 years after Indonesia proclaimed itself a sovereign state on 17 August 1945.

The September trip will be the 43rd Apostolic International Journey. The exact itinerary has yet to be formally announced.

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