Ambassador of Vatican to attend Timika Cathedral inauguration

Ambassador of Vatican to attend Timika Cathedral inauguration
ANTARA News, 6 September 2010

Vatican`s ambassador to Indonesia Mgr Leopoldo Girelli will attend a function inaugurating the Three King cathedral in Timika, Papua on October 7 2010, bishop Mgr John Philip Saklil Pr said here Sunday.

He said Vatican`s Ambassador Mgr Leopoldo Girelli had expressed his willingness to attend the Three King cathedral inauguration in Timika.

"Vatican`s ambassador said that he will attend the inauguration which would also be attended by all the bishops in Papua. We also invited Cardinal Mgr Julius Darmaatmadja Pr and all the bishops in Indonesia. But, so far there is no confirmation yet about their presence," bishop Saklil said.

He added there would be two events to highlight the inauguration. The one is cultural attractions (traditional songs and dances) from the local tribes in Timika`s diocese including Kamoro in the southern coastal area as well as such highland tribes as Amungme, Mee, Moni and others.

The procession of the cultural attractions will be held on October 6 passing the roads in Timika city and will be ended with staking Mbitoro (ceremonial spirit poles of Kamoro carvings)in front of Timika`s Three King cathedral.

The other event is the ordination ceremony of two new priests at Timika`s Three King cathedral on October 8.
"This is the people`s celebration in all the Timika diocese. Perhaps, not all the people from the hinterland can attend the events because the transportation is difficult, expensive and long," bishop Saklil said.

He explained the Timika Three King cathedral was built in 2005 or one year after Pope John Paul II declared Timika as an autonomous diocese separated from Jayapura diocese.

The cathedral can accommodate 2,000 parishes and has a 55-meter high tower.

Bishop Saklil said the cathedral construction cannot be separated from the support of the Mimika district administration, the local parishes, Freeport Indonesia and other donors.

The Timika diocese covers 13 districts in Papua namely Mimika, Nabire, Paniai, Deai, Dogiyai, Intan Jaya, Puncak, Puncak Jaya, Mamberamo Raya, Waropen, Kepulauan Yapen, Biak Numfor and Supiori.

The number of parishes in Timika`s diocese is more than 80,000 who mostly live in Papua`s middle mountain areas. There are only 20 priests who work in Timika`s diocese.