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Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Visit to Indonesia

3rd - 4th December 1970

Venerable Pope Paul VI was a pilgrim to Indonesia during his last apostolic pilgrimage, on which he also visited Iran, Pakistan, the Philippines, West Samoa, Australia, Hong Kong & Sri Lanka (then named Ceylon).

Pope Paul VI's brief stay in Indonesia was spent in Djakarta. After being welcomed at the airport on 3 December 1970, the Holy Father spoke with priests, religious and laity before meeting the President of the Republic of Indonesia. In the afternoon, Papa Paolo VI celebrated Mass in the 'Stadium' of Djakarta. The next morning, Paul VI bid a fond farewell from Djakarta.

Pope Paul VI's Address at the Welcome Ceremony
Airport of Djakarta, Thursday 3 December 1970 - in English & Italian

"We are happy that this journey gives Us the occasion to make a stop in this great and beautiful land of Indonesia where none of Our predecessors ever set foot, but where Catholics have been present for more than four hundred years, striving to do good to those around them.

It was in fact in the year 1546 that one of our greatest saints, Francis Xavier, after skirting the coasts of Sumatra and Java, came to fix his residence for a while at Amboina and Ternate, laying the foundation of the future work of his brothers and successors.

In leaving family and country to come here, this servant of God acted not from political ambition. He was not trying to acquire riches by trade or to seek glory or the pleasure of seeing new things and speaking of them to the world. His wish was to do good, the greatest good possible to his fellowmen, because he knew that was what God wished of him.

We Ourself have no other intention on Our various journeys to all points of the globe. What We try to do with all Our poor strength is to work for the bettering of men’s lot, with the aim of bringing about the reign of peace and the triumph of justice, without which no peace is enduring.
As We approached your shores, We were able to admire from above the rich verdant lands of this endless chain of islands which make your beautiful country one of the world’s greatest in length.
Because of its extent, it is also a country in which many races, cultures and religions live side by side. All the great religions of the world meet here: Moslem, Buddhist, Hindu, Confucianist and Christian; all of them are recognized as official religions by the country’s Constitution, which moreover sets up as one of the five pillars of the country, faith in a «Divine Omnipotence».

We consider it consequently a duty and a joy to praise the Government and people for the fine example thus given to the world of a high religious sense, and of collaboration and reciprocal enrichment in diversity. In fact We have pleasure in repeating here: «We acknowledge with respect the spiritual and moral values of the various non-Christian religions, for we desire to join with them in promoting and defending common ideals in the spheres of religious liberty, human brotherhood teaching and education, social welfare, and civic order» (Ecclesiam suam, AAS., LVI (1963), p. 655). The Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in religions. «She looks with sincere respect upon those ways of conduct and of life, those rules and teachings which, though differing in many particulars from what she holds and teaches, nevertheless often bring a ray of the Truth that enlightens all men» (Nostra aetate, 2).

«Upon the Moslems the Church looks with esteem. They adore one God, living and subsisting in himself, merciful and all-powerful, one who has made heaven and earth and who has spoken to men» (Ibid., 3). She admires those who in Hinduism «seek release from the anguish of our condition through ascetical practices or deep meditation or a loving, trusting flight towards God» (Ibid., 2).
She recognizes that Buddhism «acknowledges the radical insufficiency of this shifting world and that it teaches a path by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, can either reach a state of absolute liberation or attain supreme enlightenment by their own efforts or by higher assistance» (Nostra aetate, 2).

It was with these sentiments that We stated: «The Church must enter into dialogue with the world in which it lives. It has something to say, a message to give, a communication to make» (Ecclesiam suam, A.A.S., LVI (1964), p. 639).

We are happy to have here beside Us a man of your people and of your blood: Cardinal Darmojuwono, in whose hands is the highest Catholic authority of your country. Besides him there are other bishops born in your country, and an ever-increasing number of priests are preparing themselves to succeed the missionaries. The latter too have generously given up all in order to help your people in every field within their power; they live your life, and have adopted as their own your customs and interests. The best reply that can be given to those who see in the Catholic Church a strictly European organization is this: the Church is catholic, that is to say, universal; in every land she gives the proof of it as you have here before your eyes.

Our appreciative greeting goes to the devoted missionaries scattered throughout your islands. We greet with no less emotion the growing generation of priests and bishops of your own country. As father We give Our blessing to the numerous faithful around Us and to the many more who have not been able to come. We greet with respect the representatives elf all the other religions who have honoured us by their presence. We thank the authorities of the country who made this meeting possible and who have welcomed Us with so much courtesy. Let them rest assured that they will find in all their Christian subjects most devoted helpers for the realization of the noble ideals which they have conceived for the ever greater and ever more rapid progress of Indonesia, which is so generously endowed by God with beauty, and an abundance of resources of every kind.
With all Our heart, We invoke upon all of you the blessing of God, the Almighty."

Papa Paolo VI's words to priests, religious & laity in Djakarta
Thursday 3 December 1970 - in English & Italian

"We would not have satisfied Our desire of meeting the great peoples of Asia if We had not included this stop at Djakarta, the capital of Indonesia. We were happy to greet the Indonesian people on Our arrival at the airport. We wish, dear sons and daughters, in this cathedral which is your temple for prayer to say a very special word to you. It is in this raising of our souls together for an act of thanksgiving to God that we are gathered here, enlivened by the same faith and the same will to bring men the good news of salvation.

We have come from afar. You know that Our concern it for all the Churches, and that Our affectionate and prayerful thought never ceases to go out from Rome to each of Our brothers in the faith. Today We are given the joy of speaking to you, Our brothers in the episcopate, and to you too, priests and religious, who represent in a privileged way the mission of evangelization entrusted to every disciple of Christ (Cfr. Lumen gentium, 17). We know your love for Jesus Christ and his Church. We appreciate your zeal for the Gospel. We tell of Our hope of seeing the truth of salvation spread wider still in Asia; it is destined no less for this continent, since the Gospel must be preached to all creation (Cfr. Marc. 16: 16). May the Lord sustain your courage. May he unceasingly increase your love.

You who are priests must appreciate the greatness of your priesthood, which makes you like Christ the eternal high priest (Cfr. Hebr. 5: 1-10). Like him, go about doing good, urged on by his love (2 Cor. 5: 14), proclaiming the Word, sanctifying your faithful people and presenting to God the needs and the prayers of all (Cfr. Hebr. 5: 1-10).

You who are religious must live in faith and in the joy of your self-giving for the good of the whole Church. May God assist you in your work, each according to his powers and according to the form of his own vocation, of implanting and strengthening the kingdom of Christ in souls and of extending that kingdom to every land (Cfr. Lumen gentium, 44).

We greet with paternal affection the Christian people. Before the world you are the living witness of the universality of the Gospel message. The Church which has the mission of spreading that message is not bound to any one race or culture; every people finds in it the principles that will raise it up, for the Church in carrying out its mission cooperates with and stimulates the work of civilization (Gaudium et spes, 58).

May God lavish his grace upon you. With all Our heart We give you Our paternal Apostolic Blessing. Semoga Tuhan selalu melindungi Saudara-Saudara sekalian!"

Pope Paul VI's Address to the President of the Republic of Indonesia
Djakarta, Thursday 3 December 1970 - in English, Italian & Spanish

"Mister President,
It was with much satisfaction that We accepted your pressing invitation to stop at Djakarta. In spite of the length of this journey it was Our wish to do so, as a sign of Our esteem for your numerous people, who are so dear to Us, and as a mark of appreciation of the friendly relations established on an official level between the Indonesian nation and the Holy See. To you and to the members of your Government We express Our warm gratitude for the gracious welcome We have received in your country.

We also wished to express to the Indonesian people both Our appreciation of their dynamism and their desire for progress, and also Our respect for their spiritual traditions. Is not belief in one God inscribed at the head of the five basic principles of your national life?

Because of Our office We have felt it Our duty to extend a special greeting to those who share Our faith, the Catholics of Indonesia. Under the guidance of their bishops and of the Indonesian clergy, and with the assistance elf worthy missionaries, the Catholics of this country lead their lives, faithful both to the Christian principles they share with all their brothers in the faith throughout the world and also to the values that belong to their own national culture. They are sons and daughters of Indonesia-as loyal as all the others-anxious to build, along with their fellow-countrymen, a nation able to ensure for all men conditions of life which befit their dignity as human beings. While the Catholic Church asks to be able to spread her faith freely and to see her faithful free to fulfil their religious duties, within the framework of the institutions set up by the State, she desires at the same time to give clear expression to her confidence in and her admiration for the human and religious destiny of the Indonesian people. It is because she earnestly wishes to make her contribution to the attainment of an integral development of the whole man and of every man that she offers her services through her various social institutions (Cfr. Populorum progressio, 42). Accordingly, although Church and State are not situated on the same plane-since the State pursues aims belonging to the temporal order, while the Church is concerned above all with spiritual uplifting-a happy collaboration between the two is possible and desirable, for the activities of both are complementary and work together for man’s full self-realization in every respect.

We pray Almighty God to bless you, your collaborators in the leadership of this immense country, and the whole Indonesian people. Sekian dan terima kasih."

Papa Paul VI's Homily at Mass
Stadium of Djakarta, Thursday 3 December 1970 - in English, Italian & Portuguese

"Beloved Sons and Daughters,
It is a great joy for the Pope to find himself among you and to be able to join you in giving thanks to God.

The holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the most sacred and the most religious rite. At the same time it is an act of the community, an act which is supremely social and fraternal. And as We celebrate this act We would like to answer a question which must arise in your hearts: Why has the Pope come so far to see us? What is the purpose of his journey? Is he pursuing some temporal interest? Is he looking for fame and prestige?

The reason We have come is this. We are urged on by the same driving force as were your missionaries in the past. We are filled with the same conviction as your Catholic community today. And so We believe with all the strengh of Our spirit that mankind has a supreme, primary and irreplaceable need which can be satisfied only through Jesus Christ, the first-born among men, the head of the new humanity, in whom each individual reaches full selfrealization. For «only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light» (Gaudium et spes, 22). Although he was the Son of God, Jesus Christ wished for the sake of our redemption to become one of us. He shared our human condition, making himself part of the world of his time, speaking the language of his country, and drawing on local life for the examples with which to illustrate his teaching of justice, truth, hope and love. Today his teaching has spread throughout the world. It adapts itself in its expression to all languages, and to all traditions and civilizations. No book has been translated into so many tongues as the Gospel. No prayer is said in so many languages as the Our Father, taught by Jesus himself.

In the same way the Christian is no stranger among his own people. He shares with them all their honourable customs. As a good citizen should he loves his native land. And yet the faith he professes is Catholic, the same faith as is professed by Africans, Americans and Europeans. How can this be? It is because the historical man called Jesus of Nazareth was also the Son of God. It is because man was created by God and for God, and in his very being he is drawn by the One who called him to life. This is so personal and so essential an element of man that the person who drives God out of his life soon runs the risk of refusing to accept his fellowmen as his brothers. Jesus Christ comes into our lives in answer to the call whose seeds were placed by God in each one’s heart (Cfr. Ad gentes, 11). His Word, which is the revelation of a loving God, and his grace, which is the sharing of God’s very life through his Holy Spirit and in the sacraments, build up the community of God’s People which is called the Church. It is a community united by one baptism, one faith and one Lord, and living for «one God who is Father of all, over all, and within all» (Cfr. Eph. 4: 5-6).

And what is the response that we the members of his holy people must give? We must respond to God’s grace by our fidelity to the saving Word, by a conduct worthy of new men. The infinite holiness of God communicated to us calls for a response in the form of our finite holiness modelled on that of Jesus Christ. Then everything is transformed and illuminated: the life of individuals, that of families, the use of this world’s goods, our relationships with others, al1 the life of society; for it is the whole man that Christ frees, raises up, and saves.

This, dear sons and daughters, is what We carne here to proclaim: Jesus Christ. He is our Saviour, and at the same time he is the Teacher for all of us. He is «the Way, the Truth and the Life» (Io. 14: 6). Anyone who follows him will not be walking in the dark (Cfr. Io. 8: 12). That is the memory We would like to engrave on your souls for ever."

Pope Paul VI's words at the Farewell Ceremony
Djakarta, Friday 4 December 1970 - in English Italian 

"The hour of Our departure from Indonesian soil has come. Allow Us to say to you in these few words all the appreciation which fills Our heart at the thought of the wonderful reception you have given Us. Once again the traditional hospitality of Asia has been proved true.

We extend Our respectful greeting to the authorities of the country. They have shown Us so much courtesy. We will not cease to pray for the prosperity, concord and happiness of the Indonesian people; notwithstanding our differences in civilization and religion this will be the best way to be united. For when hearts have succeeded in drawing close to each other to address the Almighty, men begin straightway to set up bonds of brotherhood-and that is a condition for the happy fulfilment of a shared task.

We thank all who have welcomed Us, and those who have taken part in organizing this swift encounter.

Terima kasih. Selamat tinggal. Sampai berdjumpa lagi."